a single discordant note would throw the entire concerto
of bodies off, and the breath that blew through the wood
might falter. her lips were too dry. she tasted something
reedy and artificial, like a telephone tower masquerading
as a tree. she had often wondered what birds thought
of them, if they tried to make nests in the rigid antennae,
sang mechanical songs to be recorded and put on alarm
clocks. when her fingers slipped, she imagined starlings
falling to their deaths because they could not grip onto
the too-smooth bark. she falls out of time again. she feels
the impatience of the trumpet player next to her.
she envies him for what he can do with only three keys,
remembers how he once blew a serenade over the small
of her back but all she could do was shiver. she shivers now,
drowning in a sea of sharps. the conductor waves his baton
and they play on.