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.