A girl on the stairs listens to her father
Beat up her mother.
She comes down in her nightgown.
The piano stands there in the dark
Like a boy with an orchid.
She plays what she can
Then she turns the lamp on.
Her mother's music is spread out
On the floor like brochures.
She hears her father
Running through the leaves.
The last black key
She presses stays down, makes no sound
Someone putting their tongue where their tooth had been.
March 2, 2007 AWP Conference, Atlanta From the Academy Audio Archive