9.12 / December 2014

Little Fugue

after Eduardo C. Corral

Sometimes, the memory of him playing
runs backwards. The notes leave the room, return
to the end of his instrument, back to his body.

I close my eyes and see him making reeds
at his workbench. He sharpens the knife
on the spinning wheel, the blade glowing.

The first time I knelt for a man, my hands shook,
reaching for his waistline. His smooth torso shone.
The moon in the window was a fully-clenched fist.

Shaping the cane, he shapes the notes themselves.
He ties up each mouthpiece with a length
of thread, singeing the ends with a match.

Jim Whiteside holds degrees from Vanderbilt University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His writing appears or is forthcoming in the minnesota review, storySouth, and Heavy Feather Review, among others. He enjoys sweaters, tea, live music, and bosc pears.
9.12 / December 2014