Under the Music

by Maxine Chernoff

Under the music, a baby cries in the audience. A police siren
meets a thunderclap meets quantum theory.

Under the music you are falling into a sleep so calm that your face becomes
architecture, your head and arms a latitude. Knees bend, and you breathe an
intelligence heard in the room’s soft air.

It is May here, the third month of spring. Already flowers die and new ones
approach life, prodigious in their powers. Tendrils reach from under fences.
Hands touch.

We build fences and sandbag rivers. We launch drones that fly crookedly toward
their targets, launched by boys one might have taught beadwork at scout camp.

You stand there, lovely in your harmlessness, gazing at a neighbor’s fence, where
a Stellar jay rips at a tissue. New jasmine twines over older vines. Nothing can
stop it, not even your concern for its reaching.