A Purolator truck drives by the living room window
as you listen to Sam Rivers’ Involution and expect a parcel,
expect it to contain a dehumidifier. UV index reads 9/10
and a heat warning is in effect. Blinds are drawn, windows shut
and you’ve been watching the drama of leaves
fluttering in the breeze
reflected on the grey wall
as you work out
how to translate
certain key phrases.
You’re waiting for the delivery of a parcel, a dehumidifier
and your dress is magenta, clinging to your damp skin
as you translate certain key phrases
in the book you find impossible to finish,
the phrase about obsessively tracing hands
across the new and old decomposing walls
sitting still in the white space of a room
listening obsessively to the rollicking riffs
of Rivers’ Involution.
Key phrases in the evolution of the tenor saxophone,
subtracting oneself from death
like engraving in white-on-black
the risk of a window.
How do we see, exactly?
Heat rises from her middle like frothy magenta foam
on a strawberry milkshake, and she dreams
of fording a river on a steamy night in June,
her blue pencil scrolls, pacing, spacing the words,
the meanings trailing with the ease of jazzic fluidity,
horns, percussion, heat, voices,
the apparent free flow of highly stylized phrases
those of the conversation
those of the hushed
when you tell me the events, the dates, the places, the spaces
you last heard music like this.
The record ends in the shimmering shade
of the living room where the sun lingers
like the risk of a door opening onto the street
where a crowd rears its head and no one hears
the roar of the rivers that scream underground
day in day out, as potholes creak
under the weight of ambulances.