In September I played minuets on a water ringed piano,
my skinny legs not yet long enough to reach the pedals.
I'd play adagio until my fingers itched,
spin swift allegro into laughter,
bruise keys and leave stains
of notes on the carpet. The music, somehow
swooping strokes of light .

I hid music books under my bed,
(unable to bear the thought of
someone coaxing something more beautiful to life),
I played only in solitude,
music like a diary—one only had to
decipher the meaning on my crab-flipped hands,
striking cords.

I'd never think of hours passing by in ¾ time.
But predictably, I'd falter —a phrase misread,
a story you've read so many times,
you skim over the details—and then I was just
a girl sitting alone at a garage sale piano,
slamming her elbows on the keys
to cry out the music her fingers
might never be swift enough to play.