James Wright Prize, 2017

All of the notes play

by D. Allen
 
 
but some of the ivories are missing
we say to each other
every time one of us finds
a new bruise
a new site of corporeal wrongdoing
 
The spinal tumor grown like a mushroom
after last night’s rain
 
The eyebrow that droops
after the sudden stroke
 
The body goes on building itself
and tearing itself down
 
And still we emerge from nests of bright blankets 
to pour the breakfast tea
before settling at the piano bench
 
And still
our hands
 
though they tremble
 
remember the chords