before I know how to play the piano
I learn to be in the abandoned room
where he ignored the creaks
and built a home around his music
in a space lit by cheap candles and the moon


the piano is clapped shut for so long
its broken keys and wobbly hammers
don’t speak to anyone
but the room wears their soundless questions


pianos bond with certain kinds of minds
and mine is too erratic
a little impatient
nothing prepares me
for melodies buried deep enough to bleed
the keys rise and sink to their own rhythm
right before daylight boils over
and an unshakeable language departs
between two intervals


on the other side of the window, I am playing the piano
I can’t see any listeners
but the night isn’t dark enough to hide
him pointing his windtorn finger at his instrument
just before he merges with the thriving city

Ana P. has contributed creative work to Camas, Watershed Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, among others. She lives in Zurich.