Sport 32: Summer 2004
I know when your eyes freeze over, a brackish pond
you will not skate over
that the old chords are creeping up on you,
a tremor in the white alley.
You are lying on your bed
and they come and stand over you
like aunts over a baby.
voices are melting together where friends
have gathered to turn twenty-
one in your living room
and the song is sung three times,
each a half-tone too low;
it is a body sliding down a mountain.
Sometimes you are at the summit
watching it go. Or you are at the pond
looking out over the brittle water;
through the black mohawked trees
comes the slithering sound.
Sometimes, now, you stand at the window
of your room. You lever
the pane to lean out under
the porchlight, look down
at the street, find it leaden with ice.
The old chords make a hollow sound.
It is the rattle of the piano keys
under your hands
when you don't turn the power on.