In the doorway


the violin with its ragged


it soared over the lonely night,

on a solitary scale

sounding of silver and complaint,

a single theme that wrung

from the sky

wandering fire, comets, and troubadors,

and I played my violin

half asleep,

held fast in the estuary’s

mouth, the strings

giving birth to those desolate


the wood worn smooth

by the plunging of many fingers.

I honored the smoothness, the feel

of a perfect instrument, perfectly assembled.

That hungry man’s violin

was like family to me,

like kin,

and not just because of its sound,

not just because it raised

its howling

to the angry stars,

no: because it had grown up


how to befriend lost souls

and sing songs to wandering strangers.