Birdland

February 7, 2008
By Ann Thweatt, Roanoke, VA

his
cool
came
from
Miles.

his
elegance
from
The Duke.

black hair laid
slicked back.
old fingers.
snap.
worn out legs
sway.
like youth
again.

creaky, black, splitting, leather recliner,
a stage.
fuzzy, high frequency stereo,
a band.
roofer, visionary, poor man,
the conductor.

during cool,
voiceless nights,
i hear
the sorrows of Billy.
and know them too.
they sneak up through the rails
as i sleep.

and i dream
i am in the front row
surrounded.
watching you.

Charlie beside me.
Mingus behind me.
miles of bodies,
flooding rows.
greatness all around.

we jazz.

God sits in the balcony,
snapping his fingers.

Jesus says,








encore.


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