piano faintly heard
a neighbor’s window cracked
the singer pulls in lonesome souls
baritone a campfire
          a croon
          a wail
winged serenade slips
through sateen curtains lifting
one lamp signals life
otherwise darkness
his voice a stutter
in breath
shake of tears
discernible discord
          

this singer
the Psalmist he must be
poised on the rim of the pit
hands curved around mouth
bellowing lamentation
letting down knotted sheets
the first and last responder
for the hot clay mud
crusts about the ankles
no song can save
          

lampshade, windowsill, piano filters in
dread enters silent as a needle
graceless fodder for the
hot coal walk
          
          
          
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(c) 2013