come back

by Helen Bowell

eyes like keystrokes,
hair
the black and white teeth
of Schubert’s favourite song
interlacing, replacing baroque and romantic and ragtime and jazz and
rock and bloody roll,
her teeth: here they are,
here we go.
her band
ready,
her hands
steady,
she doesn’t
go,
her heart like
drumsticks slicked
with the sweat of
the percussionist,
her heart like the
drumsticks he drops
and hesitates before picking up
to check
nobody was looking.
her voice is not flat,
not sharp,
just natural, just one of those
huge church organs from your childhood,
a pedal and a bellow and the firewood for the fire.
and she looks directly into the
world through the camera
(roll the camera!
roll the eyes!)
and she picks you out
yes
she picks
you
out –
you know who you are,
like the lonely bass line
at the end of a melody:
and says,
“I’ve missed you like the last page of
Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony.
I’ve missed this.”