No Artistic Unity of Opposed Curves

Beth Joselow

You should not have taken up
the dead man's violin.
Arched belly and back, shallow ribs,
a bearded head carved in the scroll
above the tuning pegs--self-portrait or signature.

The sycamore face rubbed soft,
years had eased all but the startling
bulge of eyes, older than songs
the dead man had pulled from under his chin.
You played it like a fiddle, hopped

an invalid jig around the apartment. Our
wineglasses shivered. His widow left the room.
Too much, your step in his shoes.
We all remember your hand around his neck.


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