Desire Returns as First Chair


Clearly Brahms has a hand in this night;

She cannot sleep; there is music

Coming from the garden,

Someone without the sense or grace

To go to bed,

Perhaps the neighbors are up late,

The casements open.


She goes out, down the path, following the music;

Yes, it is Brahms, there is the deep intonation

Of the cello played

By a virtuoso,

The rich yet precise chords of a piano, the lyrical counterpoint

Of two instruments making love.


Then she sees that he has returned, Desire

And is waiting by the cherry tree.

Bathed in moonlight. .

He bends her toward him, takes his first

Kiss, kissing away her breath,

Taking from her, her flesh

Artfully recasting her fine bones,

Changing her to burnished wood

Curved, and hollow.


He draws his bow

Over her taut strings:

He touches her frets, his fingers hovering;

Of her emptiness, he makes a sonata;

Of her cry a vibrato;

Of her being

What the moon might sing of failed love–.


Night of barcarolles and shooting stars

Of surrender, quickened, released,

Variations on incarnate longing

Of an unsettled score.


copyright Jenne’ R. Andrews 2010