Parallel Lives


Rehearsing in the choir loft,
I don’t read your mind
as much as watch you play.
Standing parallel to you,
I angle my head towards you.
Our gazes form an oblique angle.
Our point of intersection,
a musical composition.
Keyboard and woodwind rehearse,
bringing to life a composer’s thought.
When you strike the keys,
I tongue. My breath
keeps time. I mirror
your melody,
and reflect:

All my life
I have moved
towards a horizon
fretted with storm clouds.

As we approach the double bar,
sound waves relent
like breakers crashing
against rock,
or like sun-drenched petals
skirting cactus spine.

Hands below meet in prayer—
or is it habit—on the ample lap
of a saint.

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