We have a problem here, Tim said tossing his coat
over the back of the couch. You seem to think

              with exactitude on this matter, more so than I can
              Tim said, surveying the empty chairs

with such overwhelming joy and sadness
for this strange instrument that I’m glad

              because what we seek whether we admit it or not
              is our destruction, or that little bit of doubt that builds character

distanced myself further. When I play, I hear only one note
perhaps this is because I have tuned the piano that way

              I hold the piano up to my ears to hear
              its chest empty each time I touch it

into the void, what are you going to do about it? I was ruined
onto another course entirely. The piano is a perfect way

              I live alone and I’ve shored up my house
              with all the things I had lying around.


I raised my hand, but he didn’t call on me
he talked about how, in the future, we’ll all get what we want

              to other cupboards. Needless to say, everyone in that house
              suffered. Why am I telling you this

as though he were transmitting information over a short distance
when you first told me you didn’t want me to play

              in the morning and how I go to sleep at night
              knowing that I will be there when I awake. If you sit here

if I told you that something like this was going to occur
just at the moment when I was about to conclude this

              as the starting point, or that you’ll no longer have anything
              to do with yourself. We need the struggle, Tim said

I’m telling you that this is entirely false. It’s a delusion
something you’ve cooked up. I remember the day

              falling through it is always on my mind and the keys
              receive this worry with every touch.


Tonight, the piano will project me into a dream
in which I’m on stage. It’s a terrible night for being

              we discover what we were composed of. Without first
              breaking, Tim said, we can’t be whole

can be threaded outside us into something wonderful
and this is called counterpoint

              to go home was a need to return to a previous state
              buried beneath years of habit and rationale

even when I was already there there
was a voice inside me

              and I thought you were listening. Maybe that job
              you keep going to has screwed up something

completely separate and meaningful in its own right
which is to say that whatever is inside us

              and hope that it will allow me
              the mistakes I know I will make.


To be absorbed, which is what I want — to be absorbed into the world
I’ll play the music that calls to you, that is calling your name

              that would justify me sticking my neck into the void
              and shouting to the nearest person, Hey, my neck is sticking

but the older I got, the more emphatic the voice became
then I understood. I don’t know how, but I did

              in order to have purpose. Sometimes we need to dash
              ourselves on the rocks because in the reassembling

the thrashing or burning would rid
the next day of having to decide

              in there, Tim said knocking my head with his fist
              when I was a child I used to think I wasn’t real

but I thought if I could hear its longing and lilting melody
in one note, I could hear anything

              I don’t want to depress you, so let’s just say there’s a method
              and leave it at that.