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ROSE COLLINS

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Nothing breaks

 

like a heart. The piano chants Bach

from deep down in its crimson chest –

carved like a trellis of arteries –

Ave Maria, full of grace.

 

Ashes for coffee, the girl says, ‘No

that café is not this one,

that High Street café is gone;

you are remembering wrong.’

 

The pianist’s feet are leathery, worn,

on the sostenuto pedal they sustain a pulse.

Out the window the city is a framed ghost –

a carved acropolis, too much lost.

 

In the café: ‘Oh, you woke up from your wedding there?

Is that it? There in that dent, in that grey pebbled pit,’ –

descending together from your chamber for bread,

the taste of wedding cake still a shade in your mouths.

 

School children twitch at the fallboard – the teacher asks,

‘What’s been done to this piano, class?’

 

The artist has engraved it, made his mark,

in the echoing chambers of this heart.

 

 

 

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