Jazzman

by Dave Morrison

He felt it on his
eyelids before he
opened them, that
simple, insistent pattern,
a drummer with a broken
stick, a dancer with a
clubfoot, a box of rolling
pins dumped down the
lighthouse stairs.
He hummed it to himself
through the toothbrush
foam, tap-danced it down
the stairs, heard snatches of
it in the subway wheels, tried
to whistle it under his breath,
fingered chords on his pant legs,
chased the melody like a fat man
chasing a butterfly with a heavy
net, almost got it, almost . . .
Found himself at work, the butterfly
gone out an open window, fifty
joyless tasks nipping at his cuffs like
fifty bad little dogs . . . but that night the
idea crawled out of his horn and burst
like fireworks and he was mesmerized and
grateful, and so so happy