The applause dies

except for four last claps.

My brother.

Later I’ll punch him.

A man coughs.

I must begin.

Left hand octave firm G sharp.

Four six-note figures.


And I’m off,

right hand like a spider

up the keyboard.

Swing my wrist back.

Piano bench creaking.

Light glares off the keys.

My sweaty thumb slips,

tangles the descending scale.

Resting on largo.

Move to moderato.

Lacy trills.

Always chasing rainbows

toward no—

that same messy passage.

Blast through it?

Dance it?


Diminish poco a poco silence.

Thunderous applause.

Later Brian you’re getting such a punch.





Christine Jackson teaches literature and creative writing at a South Florida university. Her poetry has been published in print and online publications, including The Sandy River ReviewShot Glass Journal, and Autumn Sky Poetry Daily. She also performs many classical piano works, Chopin’s among them. cahss.nova.edu/faculty/christine_jackson.html.