The Messenger

My Mother’s Piano

At times I comprehend the reason for remnants.
How broken dust means something happened here.
The hands I can hear are not my own.
At midnight they thorn ivory slenders.
Through minutes they prick me from sleep.
Through minutes they pass hesitant, imperfect.
The hands lull me to listen to their marbled echo,
never to respond, for their answer is their own.
A fragment of slumber is only subverted
by embellishments of night; this quake
wakens what is deemed unnatural.
Just once I watched but could not see
the hands, only back, tired, bent.
But the back was not old, nor the hands.
The sheets twisted in my fists give me nothing
when I need more than the music of hands.
This bed is a hollow place.
This bed knows no movement of its own.
I know the movement of others.
I know better that which is not my own.
At times I comprehend how wrong I am.
At times I comprehend how confounded I can be
to think these days have years between them, have space
that stretches. How it’s not worth looking for more than what I see— quit this pretense that these hands are attached
to something more than what the eyes can level.
Quit waiting when these hands will no more rest
than touch.

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