I lift you
from your velvet bed,
your heft welcome in my hand.

Your brass skin
sports a patina earned from
so many choruses of the blues.

My fingers settle into
gig-worn grooves
on your mother-of-pearl keys.

Our papery interface,
today’s fickle reed,
invites a timbric challenge.

A Ray Charles love song,
an Ellington tapestry,
a Cannonball romp.

We bellow and wail,
deconstructing Cold Sweat,
inventing new notes.

You are the sacred voice
of pain
and protest.

You speak my irreverence
with howls that would singe the air
if voiced in words.

Come earthquake or fire,
I’ll grab my cat,
and you.

Jean Fineberg