Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Letter to Brian, One Year After He'd Gone

i thought of you today.

it was a damp day
gray and rainy
with a sky thick and low
and puddles built up
in every dip in the asphalt.
it was the kind of day
that would have been bad
with its soaked heads
and no parking
but, it wasn't bad;
it was beautiful.

i didn't mind my wet sneakers
or the way the cold air
made my fingers stiffen
because today belonged to me.
no one else had any claim
to any minute of it
it was mine,
so it was beautiful.

i thought of you
when i was leaving the café.
I walked out into the parking lot
and all the sounds
of the world
were muffled
by the low ceiling
of smoky gray clouds
and the constant
swishing and splashing
of tires on wet pavement.

there was just this white noise

then drums.

As I walked to my car
someone three stories up
amidst the bricks and open windows
was playing drums
loud and a little messy
cymbals crashing
wooden sticks meeting taut drumheads
it was music

and i thought of you
up there
amidst the bricks and open windows
making music in the rain on a Friday afternoon

and i wondered where you are—
they say you're in Brooklyn—

and I wondered if you're playing still
somewhere every day

or not?

i called you last night
but there was no answer
and no voice mail
just a phone ringing
somewhere in New York.

and that's how those drums
sounded to me today
like a phone
ringing in someone else's apartment
a rainy afternoon
when the light is shifting to darkness
and the telephone
rings and rings
in the place next door.

[September 2002]


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