Dedication (To the Pianos and Pianists)

She exposed her three legs
with dignity.
Shameless.
Strong.
Soft, and liquid smooth.
“Walnut veneer,”
she would whisper to me that night,
was her secret.
How tempting…

I eyed her contour,
found her parabolas
a Pandora’s box,
not ripe to unleash hope
before stripping me
of every inhibition to approach her.
The angle of the light,
hit her fifty-two pearly whites
just right,
and what an ivorine smile it was;
I didn’t even mind the thirty-six
flats or sharps between.
I knew my fingertips
would kiss them later.

Her skin
was ebonized,
the black she wore was lethal,
but draped her beautifully.
A heavy,
full-bodied lacquer finish
branded by Papa Steinway,
and she
won my seal of approval.

I, made my approach,
sat upon her impatient thighs,
and I knew
she yearned for my touch, also.
It wasn’t the first time
my fingers caressed her strings,
nor was it the first that her voice
harmonized with my soul’s eardrum.

We were in sync,
in time
as we danced to metronomes during practice.
Even though I stepped on her brass toes,
she just laughed,
sung our tunes a little longer,
and we suited perfection eventually.
Boy did she carry a tune then,
when we were both a little younger.

I wouldn’t trade those days
to be immortalized;
for my immortal awaits me
every morning
in the sunlit dining room,
and I would dare not insult her
with absence.

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