I look for words in the dark,
silently describing to myself
the particular conditions of the weather
on the morning I saw you most recently—
the wind, its patterned disarray—
my mind elsewhere, distracted, lyrical,
while the pianist plays an encore.
Mozart was born on this day
257 years ago. All day
I have been ungenerous, resentful,
impatient. In between
movements, no applause
but the old ladies cough loudly, violently.
We cannot last forever.
I loved music before I loved books.
I loved Mozart before I loved you.
It was not penitence I sought, standing outside
the bedroom in the old apartment
where you had spent the night alone.
To bend, to kneel before some greater force—
that was no longer what I wished.
Clouds blew in from the coast, and I felt
the sun abandoning the window behind me,
making the bright walls suddenly colorless,
obscuring everything, for a moment,
that I wanted. When I finally entered,
I saw you still asleep—a wet strand
of hair tucked behind your ear, the husk
of your body—and lingered there for a minute,
before walking upstairs to shut the windows.