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This poem is taken from PN Review 87, Volume 19 Number 1, September - October 1992.

Three Poems Robert Drake


As though exhausted, how your head
falls to the instrument's black case;
as though sleepwalking, how your hands
trip faultlessly on buttons, keys;
and, of the rest of you that can be seen,
how one incongruously high-heeled foot
beats hell out of the carpet
to the manic hornpipe's tune!

Metal corners on the bellow's pleats
muster like soldiers, peel off in turn,
march to their limit, then precisely
close their silver ranks again.

Your ear must be aware of the soft roar
of breath within that leather chest;
your cheek, pressed to the black box, rests
as on the shoulder of a good lover.

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