Inside & Above, Looking Out
I have long tried to describe for you how it felt
up there on the riser, but trying’s always failing,
so the grit underfoot in the past—not to mention
the spit blown out the valves—must exist
unjustified. It seemed a hum, but much bigger
in spring when the piano shone its reflections.
I hungered for the award, but was afraid
to stand when all the rest sat. We sweated & spat
decorously out the fluted brass bells. Snapping shut
latches such as one never sees on cases now,
we knew the afternoon had ended & out on the avenue
the delivery trucks’ hot metal & the aroma of pizza
& fried rice confirmed it. Where I went is diminished
by words like “car” or “north” or “under.”
John Repp's most recent collection is Fat Jersey Blues, winner of the 2013 Akron Poetry Prize from the University of Akron Press.