Summer’s heat had so baked the day
That every breath of wind had sighed to stillness.
The bustle of the city had slipped
To desultory, languid business.
Even the whine of sirens was left as careless
As an ice-cream vendor’s jangling chorus.
Talk, seeping from restaurants and bars, stalled.
Windows, from mansions and rented rooms,
To coax the dying day’s exhalation,
Confidences, confessions, even stern invective
And brittle laughs,
Discarded against flickering snatches of television chatter,
Evaporated under the clammy weight of dusk
Whether or not the music was of her own composing,
It matters little.
Under her bow, each note swelled and rose:
A bubble holding its warbling sac of air,
Buoyed by some imperceptible drift
Long enough to sing through its emerald and amethyst film
Until the colours curdle to a dull sheen,
Lingering on the ear for a final moment
Before the skin thins to bursting.
The notes spin themselves, like blown gossamer,
Across the city in a web
No more melodious
Than the barbed shards of sound,
Trilled by garden songsters breaking open the morning,
Her primal air stirred all who heard it,
Lifting them above the drum and hum,
Dispelling the echoes of a grosser living,
Lightening the night.
There was a quickened breathing:
A fresh breeze ruffled the leaves.