Out of Tune

I am leaving to find the last jazz standard where you left it for me as a gift,
to hold it like an hourglass
and listen to the notes drop out
until my hands are from two years ago,
miles and miles away.
You lap them back into your mouth for safekeeping.
I play a prelude with kitten fingers—I step softly.
I play the prelude like my parents want me to (for you)
and it is a good and beautiful thing anyway.
I know you can hear the last time
I cried over piano keys in soft shakes—the way I want to cry
(for you).
When our only point of contact is the cold keys our hands orbit
I remember I have only been trained to perform. I return the notes to you
because it is the polite thing to do,
but I play like I am a good and beautiful thing anyway.
The way my fingers move is nowhere near love
but what else do we have left?

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