Retinal Tear

by Connie Post


The night before the operation
you go to the piano
in the dark
and play soft melodies
with your eyes closed

you tell me
you need to know
that if you lost your sight
you could still play

the notes drop
from the keyboard
to the floor
inside the cupboards
and beneath the bed

I pick up each one
hold them in my hands
and take them back to you
but I am too late

you are already asleep

I stand over you
make sure you are breathing steady
and the lamp is off

our room
fades to a citadel of faint mercy

In the weeks that follow
I hear you after midnight
playing those same
incandescent chords
each one escaping
like a refugee
in the dark

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