Like the Jazz

By Jonathan Li

----

Loud coughing, clearing throats,

bouncing echoes off vaulted ceilings.

Mounted spotlights click—

a buzzing, like fabric-on-fabric,

faint flitters of the beam flickering on…


Oh.

They’re watching,

don’t forget: “no mistakes.”


Voices are muddling:

was that a dissonance?

a falter in the performance?


Now frozen wire squeezes,

barbs embedding themselves

in his heart.


Causing missed

Pulses—

skittering, swinging

rhythm landing on

offbeats…

Like the jazz

playing.


And suddenly

it’s not hard to imagine—

their panting

their crisp suits wrinkling

golden-clasped belts missing…


—better maintain a steady composure,

Don’t forget: they’re listening.


But it’s not

hard to imagine—


that salty, metallic liquid

dripping––

the business phone

left ringing

the staggering walk

next morning

the back that won’t stop burning.

—But hey, don’t forget to keep smiling.


Li is a branch and California state honored pianist, as well as a 2020 California Arts Scholar.

Recent Posts

See All

ACHEKNOWLEDGEment

By Hokis ---- In the parlor, She decides to finally take out the baby-skin smooth walnut carpenter box. It was gifted to her by Father Time two years ago. A month before he boarded the train home. Ins

Altering the Mind of Gravity

By Hokis ---- Love cannot permeate the busy-brained heart, just Ask the stretching-self-over-the-valley dendrite. Muscle memories of Icy, undertow moments from Comrades and rivals, alike. Time to dece

Codependant's Glare

By Hokis ---- And then There is the day when they truly need you. When he loses his legs And her denial-powered anger commands He win the war with gravity. And then There is the week when they truly n

  • Instagram

© 2020 LoveNote Poetry