Unsilent movie

I’ve got a thing for this piano player,
his back to me
his hands above the keys,
poised like a puppeteer’s.
He watches the screen with such devotion,
following every gesture, every mood.
He has stamina—
the movies are at least an hour long—yet he never seems to tire.
I watch him cock his head,
his golden earring catches some stray light in the theater,
he waits for something we don’t know is coming.
Then it comes.
The action up there draws me in.
I plunge into the images,
I drink in the music,
I forget the piano player.
It’s like floating into a painting,
my senses submerged in pure blacks and whites and silvery grays.
The music is touchable
he makes i tangible.
He gives the story playing across the flat screen
texture, another dimension.
And when the movie’s over,
when the last card flashes “The End,”
He finishes with light, graceful chords, almost wistful.
The lights come on.
He rises from the bench
and turns to us and bows.
I try not to applaud too much.
Oh, I’ve got such a thing for that piano player.

From Point of Departure, Stockholm Writers Group Anthology, The Stockholm Writers Group, 2003.

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