open seventh

You tend to use
a lot
of open seventh
chords, he observed.
I didn’t know what that meant.
Like this, he said, demonstrating with
his hands what I didn’t
Oh, I replied,
you mean the ones that sound
like they are perching
on a cusp, demanding
yes, I do like those.



I once dated a boy who would lie
beneath the piano
as I played, listening
to each note as one might
put an ear to a pregnant woman’s belly- murmuring
quiet encouragements, he kept time
with his fingertips on the grey
carpet of the music room floor. He held
his breath with each
crescendo and sighed as the last
chord faded and I lifted my hands
from the keyboard to rest them on my
knees. Then he would emerge grinning, curls
wild with static electricity, his lips
soft with compliments, his own pianist hands
eager to whirl across those keys, to press
himself into each measure, to
measure his own tempo not
by the metronome, insistent and precise,
but by the space between us; dynamic and alive.

piano hands copy