The curio smells of sweet wax, scented candles,
it’s always smelled that way, lemon and vanilla
tea lights acquired God-knows-when, a cloying
allure filled with memory under a patch of cinnamon,
forbidden matchbooks from forgotten places,
no flint ever struck, each hope of a tiny flame
still intact, fresh and dry, all ready to kindle

You in the uptake of breath, the vibration
of you is a dimension I imbibe, I pulsate
in your static, the sweet ozone of ether
about you

In the corners of cool dark places behind beveled glass,
fire asks for the hand of the wick

Amazing how the limbs contort to sound the heart,
enlist wood and metal, engage golden ratios

Fingertips strike tones, velvet bishops
– adjacent squares – eye one another diagonally

Intervals distort when you push them,
so don’t push them, let them be

I love the assist
of the barre when bending

Point and flex,
a bushel and a peck

I once had a toy, a mechanical contraption really,
the size of a small music box, a crane that bent stiff-legged
to gobble up quarters fed off a tee

It was old even before
I’d acquired it

Chagall 2019