There is an instrument
I have learned to play.
My fingers swift and calloused,
Know their fretwork in the dark.
I carry it always
Wrapped in polymer and steel
To spare the glass and brushed aluminum
Of this, my magic flute.
If you’ll sit and listen,
Then I will play for you
The song that we wrote together
In the last year of the war.
It’s the plainsong chant of everyday
New as the morning and old as death
Weddings and workdays
the birth of children and the breaking of bread.
It’s battle hymns and the Mourner’s Kaddish
Men in orange jumpsuits dying by the sea
Bullies and heresiarchs
And the earth in a fever that nothing can break
Call and response, call and response
Until the two harmonize
An apocalypse sung
In the voices of my friends
That forever crescendos but never resolves
A billion composers with no conductor
Scrolling down and down and down
But never finding bottom.