Vers #5

Akron, OH

Tchaikovsky didn’t write music for Ohio.
Nothing in this suite sings of our orchards,
the waterfalls taunting like undines
as they slip into the woods unseen.
This ballet is a burr stuck on a composer’s coat,
brought onto foreign soil to grow wild.

In the hushed theatre, carved like a doll’s house,
the floating tulle and tinned orchestra
darts at me, but does not stick. I am not awed.
Here is mechanical majesty, and I want soot.
Shining lines on the face of a woman I tutored
when she told me that she passed her class.
The rainbows of fruit in the market,
vendors cajoling customers to buy wares.
Strings of lights like pearls as the cars
stream past my window in the wet ink night.

The lights rise after the final bows.
Outside, the cold takes back its place
on my cheeks. I’ll take these brick streets
and the lullaby of sleet instead.

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