Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Combo

In barlight alchemized: gold pate, the bellmouth
tenor, liquor trapped in a glass. The e-flat
clarinet chases time, strings shudder,
remembering the hundred tongues. Here comes old
snakeshine, scrolls stored in the well, here comes
the sobbing chazzan. O my lucky uncle,
you've escaped the Czar's army. Thunder
is sweet. Here comes the boink, boink bossa
nova slant of light. Snow-dollars
dissolve on a satin tongue. The river
swells green, concrete trembles, and we
sweat, leaning toward mikes and wires
as the last tune burns down to embers. Ash-
whispers. We were born before we were born.

Credit


Copyright © 2010 by Joan Larkin. Used by permission of the author.

Author


Joan Larkin

Born in Massachusetts in 1939, Joan Larkin is the 2011 recipient of the Academy of American Poets Fellowship.

Date Published: 2010-10-07

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/combo