poetry blooms on the paths of faery
Mr. and Mrs. Stevens select a black Steinway
for their sun room in anticipation of summer.
Like a black bird it awaits the sirens
that sing operettas on the west side
between the ice-cream vendor from Venice
and the jeweler from Charleville.
After the thaw, silent summer arrives
and Mrs. Stevens takes a steam train alone
to the Poconos and Mr. Stevens remains
in the city to advocate for the insureds
and play the piano. For seven hours straight
the first night he scratches the ivory keys
like a snowcat against Orpheus' tree.
And so proceeds the solstice quotidian;
the infinitesimal gesture of their separation:
Mrs. Stevens golfs and Mr. Stevens plays.
Once, however, he pauses to erase a moist circle
left by his highball glass and Mrs. Stevens writes
requesting more money. He begrudgingly wires
her five dollars. On another day, he puzzles
out the latest Schoenberg and she buys
a dress. In August rain falls on Manhattan
island and the water drains into the sea.
Most days though, Mr. Stevens pilots
a skiff between the keys of half-notes
that litter the green waters of the archipelago.