Grandad, play Autumn Leaves

No—how about something

I wrote, instead?

Chalky hands,

ones that unscrewed jars

and smashed crabapples

on the neighbor's fence

(when their mutt, let loose

like thunder from the night

clouds, crushed

the fresh marigolds)

those cold sausages

poised above the piano keys

like leaning towers.

And as you began to play

that mangled, serrated song,

a militant jangle of dotted eighths,

jigsaw, skip-fingers, chromatic

climb, your Pharaoh bridged nose

high and edged like the Pyramids themselves,

a white wand, thin, quick

charged with a hollow rage

un-zippered the wallpaper, crisp

and too soon a long curl of smoke,

a gray heap and two stunned heads.

Was it within You

that silvery bolt,

flashing out, thrashing

like dog jaws in the yard?

Or within me

a scream

something I wanted to hear.