Bittersweet Hindsight

The quiet air around him, the tooth-colored keys.
A tired smile, a man with silver eyes.
Papa made the accordion live. He taught me to play,
The fingerprinted accordion.

No one had ever given her music before.
She would grin herself stupid.
She watched him stand and play the accordion,
Papa was an accordion!
His arms worked the bellows,
Giving the instrument the air it needed to breathe.
The bellows breathed.

Her fingers hovered above the keys. She did not move.
She didn’t even appear to be breathing.
A voice played the notes inside her; the silent music.
The keys were not struck. The bellows didn’t breathe.
There was only moonlight.
She would never be able to play it like Hans Hubermann.
Not even the world’s greatest accordionists could compare.

Hans Hubermann was barely visible,
Metallic eyes, melting,
Not noticeable. Not important or particularly valuable,
His silver eyes continued to rust.

Papa’s music was the color of darkness,
The only sound was himself. No one can play like you.
She silently wept as he pressed the buttons and keys.
No one can play like you.

Papa stopped. His bellows were all empty.
Nothing went in and nothing came out.
He dropped the accordion,
The injured instrument.

Goddamnit, you were so beautiful.

You never told me you had a son.





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