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Under the Music

Under the music, a baby cries in the audience. A police siren meets a thunderclap meets quantum theory.

Under the music you are falling into a sleep so calm that your face becomes architecture, your head and arms a latitude. Knees bend, and you breathe an intelligence heard in the room's soft air.

It is May here, the third month of spring. Already flowers die and new ones approach life, prodigious in their powers. Tendrils reach from under fences. Hands touch.

We build fences and sandbag rivers. We launch drones that fly crookedly toward their targets, launched by boys one might have taught beadwork at scout camp.

You stand there, lovely in your harmlessness, gazing at a neighbor's fence, where a Stellar jay rips at a tissue. New jasmine twines over older vines. Nothing can stop it, not even your concern for its reaching.

Maxine Chernoff

New American Writing

Number 31, 2013

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