On my rack,
a guitar the size
of New Mexico.
Tone drawn from
scraped concrete
and morning traffic.
Neck slim as
a racist’s excuse,
strung up tight and bright
to breakpoint. When I need
to write a song about white fire
rising from the caved chest
of a corpse, this flies
from its wall to my hands.

There also is
a small guitar there,
tucked behind the left ear
in a Victorian portrait
of an unnamed
woman, a guitar so small
I could swallow it and 
I do — not often and not
without choking.
It comes
without my asking
to my sleep, where
my long throat tunes it
to an open chord
when my need is for
a song that lights its own
flame. I find it warming me
upon waking; I come to slowly,
wondering at this sound within.

I cannot tell you all the names
of all the instruments that live near me;
some are ancient, some are new.
Some plant blasts,
some stick giggles
all over everything.  

Their only commonality
is that if another took them
and tried to play, I do believe
they would fall to dust in their hands
and blow away, perhaps to become
mingled with the dunes in White Sands
or piled upon the paired graves
of centuries-old lovers;
never to be played again

unless somehow 
they were to find me, bereft 
and songless, lingering here
long past my time
in dire need of

a dirge, an elegy, a tune
to bear me away.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

One response to “Instruments

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