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Between two pianos pressed in the dining room
a full-size dark grand, a walnut upright
beside the dining table on a mat—
the room was crowded but you pressed

together in such joyous embrace
leaning delicately in—the meal
was ready to be brought to table
the meat with its unfurling string

the serving dishes of red and green
vegetables. Just time—you’d flung
your coat on a tall hat stand
and glanced at an open music album

the one you were practicing on the grand
while on the walnut a whole selection
filled the holder—the meal might cool
a little in its juices—while you leaned—

the way the iris in the vase on the black surface
of the grand gave back its reflection to itself—
together, just lightly touching at the shoulders
but such desire in the backbones, such

pure melding while someone sought the scissors
to cut the string and the butter pooled
over the peas and the carrots and all
the unplayed music played in silence.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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