Late, late at night, in and old, old house
He plays his guitar and sings deep into the walls
And I sit by the window, up high at the top of the house
Over the trees
And over the town
And over the litter and dog crap
But mostly over an old life
Looking down on everything that is and was
And he sings Simon and Cohen
As we muddle through our separate transition
I am an island `til he finds his shore
And he….he is what he is— for now.
He jams his cigarette between E and A
Firm, abridging the second top fret
Because it’s convenient— or cool
And he’s seen somebody do it in a film,
at a gig maybe
And I smile
At his pretension,
But he’s right, it’s cool.
He’s reinventing, building a new person
On an existing frame
Without a clue of what he’s supposed to do
In his tight shirts and skinny jeans
While I’m returning, to who I was before
But we rub along
We’re into Magellan—
With red tones.
And Gauguin—with earth tones—kind of
Are the figures too crudely drawn?
He smiles at me over the neck of his guitar and loses a lyric,
and plays it in, and goes for it again and gets it
And I get him—I think.
So I think about happiness
As he sings of love, and loss and travelling.
I sip a red, that’s inexcusable for three swallows.
And then gets better,
And then gets good
If a room can be happy
And I smile as I watch
His song seep into the walls
His fingers pick, light
Moving dissolute and profligate across the strings.
Between the strings.
Over the strings.
Across the strings.
And the room fills and swells
With the music
And it coats the plaster
Into the walls
Of the listed building
And make the room happy
`Til he is gone…
But the room smiles on.