Opus Number 23

You tasted pure indigo
It was all I could do to keep from
Licking at my palms
Sounds so smooth
Like chocolate, unwrapped
Lickable lines and drowsy dots
Melting into my ears
The soundwaves soothing,
Soaring and dipping
Cleansing my nervousness
As these spidery fingers kept
Stuttering their way across the keys
Klutz-kissed Chopin
Blowing through the dust
Of an afternoon’s discipline
Lost in a chessboard world
Of whirling black and white
Sweaty digits writhing on ebony
Toe curling pages
With their yellow smell
And the dullness of Instruction
Her leaden pencil marks
Numbers above the notes
Winking hide and seek
Angular strokes slashing
At my tired eyes
Teasing me with their inflexibility
A rubrik for perfection
Joints wobbling under the weight
Of the deep, deep, blue
This was the piece
The memory and the melody
My right to the slowing
Feet poised to pedal
A passage in time
This ocean of indigo
That gave me that first taste
One bittersweet number
Nose crinkling at the
Orangey tang of
Fourteen-year-old failure

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