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