I was reading Finley
in a Settlement waiting room
secure in my obscurity

when I heard him down the corridor
playing his scales
before we ran out of money

and he gave up music.
History is perfected
in the person and the person

is a scatter.
A girl with a red cat
and prayer wheel of daily meds,

a man winding a motor on the table
over a Lucky and coffee,
a girl with plaster horses

in some mansion,
Für Elise from a balcony,
sunny and empty,

or a boy on that bike,
wind at his back,
jacket ballooning.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 34 Number 9, on page 33
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