Alice Miller


These days she plays
the piano like a weapon—
she’ll say it’s a burden,

this cumbersome instrument; she feels
like she carries it around
on her shoulders, the weight of wrong

notes, accidentals and pedalling.
On weekdays, he pores over papers
in the archives, and she’ll hammer

at the keys till they gather
some coherence, an atonal
clamour of shining noise. He’s grasping

at threads of past, their passing,
and she’s trying
to create, to conceive

a newness—

but there’s no polite way
to end this predicament:

last to the impasse

Author’s Note


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