Priscilla Atkins lives in Holland, Michigan and has a collection, The Café´of Our Departure, forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press in March 2015.
Piano Before Breakfast
He has a piano that he plays before breakfast. Reminds me
of the guy on the other side of the wall in Mike's apartment
on Wells. When I stayed there alone, every morning, sudden
plink-plink-plonk. Not screaming, but peppy; Bach, Bartok.
Five minutes, less, the wall popped. Then I'd hear the lid
close, the door click open / shut. Mike traveled so much
for his job, he never knew about the next-door maestro
(it was during this period I convinced him, long distance,
that frozen broccoli is better than no broccoli). I wonder
how many people play an instrument
for the last time, knowing, “Okay, this is it-the last time
I will ever hear your voice.” Or is it always shrill. Silence.