Clouds smoke overhead and the pianist’s fingers
are tipped with gold and jessamine.
Cutting sticks for our fire,
swirling scotch, inscribing himself
into the script of the second world.
There are some here who’d like to go with him.

We see them holding black cats
on heavy windowsills, staring down
the nightfall not thinking about rain
or books or bars. Only the sound
his fingers wrought from that trellis.

Honeysuckle rooting voracious into the house,
letting the snow fall in. February’s only consolation,
our tulip-less hearts open at last to winter, giving
over to its sad genius. If the piano wants our money

or talents, if the snow is even now piling
on the kitchen counter, the black cats streaking
round, tails cocked like treble clefs. If we all lie down
across our tables, arms under our heads and reaching out,
meet at our fingertips. If the music
encases us, ants euphoric in the pine sap, mercy
we’ll take it.

Brianna Flavin