Noah’s Violins

by Jamie Ross

—Café San Francisco, San Miguel Allende

Rain, more rain and violins,
the couple from Celaya seated by the window
crooning to each other next to the plaza, a foot

from the water, their swaying silver spoons
an inch from the pozole, a breath
from the spires of the rising pink cathedral

because of the boat on this day of Nöe, room
for us all at the white tablecloths, the gears

of the clocks in the hollows high above us
and the great bronze bells, with a boy in a cape,
small as a bird, holding the ropes.

Pull, sing the strings in their Strauss-induced
polka. Pull, whine the taxis gunning the wash.
Pull, chant the trays hoisted and tilting, glasses

clinking. Pull, urge the cups and steaming
sloshing bowls, every saucer tipping, every
spoon dipping, every table tugging

as the boy in his cape, ropes across his chest,
takes one giant breath, raises his arms

as the couple at the window suddenly stand up,
the rest of the diners jump to their feet, the waiters
flip their stations, the cooks leap the counters

and we all, hands around each other, our
arms lifting around that boy—with one, swift,
powerful shout—we Pull!


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