In barlight alchemized: gold pate, the bellmouth
tenor, liquor trapped in a glass. The E-flat
clarinet chases time, strings shudder,
remembering the hundred tongues. Here comes old
snakeshine, scrolls stored in the well, here comes
the sobbing chazzan. O my lucky uncle,
you’ve escaped the czar’s army. Thunder
is sweet. Here comes the boink, boink bossa
nova slant of light. Snow-dollars
dissolve on a satin tongue. The river
swells green, concrete trembles, and we
sweat, leaning toward mikes and wires
as the last tune burns down to embers. Ash-
whispers. We were born before we were born.



(From Blue Hanuman, copyright © 2014 by Joan Larkin. Published by Hanging Loose Press, 231 Wyckoff Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217, All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any medium, print or electronic, without the publisher’s written permission, except for brief quotations in reviews.)