At the Blue Note

By Pablo Medina

for Karen Bentivenga
Sometimes in the heat of the snow
you want to cry out

for pleasure or pain like a bell.
And you wind up holding each other,

listening to the in-between
despite the abyss at the edge of the table.

Hell. Mulgrew Miller plays like a big
bad spider, hands on fire, the piano

trembling like crystal,
the taste and smell of a forest under water.

The bartender made us a drink
with butterfly wings and electric wire.

Bitter cold outside, big silence,
a whale growing inside us.

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