Interstices ~ Michael Lauchlan


He’s got us. Bass,
drums, and his hands
on the keys, pushing it, urgent

and easy, out of wound wire
and wood into the air between us.

Into us. And we move
without knowing it. I move.
A foot. Knees jumping. Hands.

She moves, walking on the bandstand,
taking up the mic. Lord–
she has us. Even before.

And you, as well, reading this,
shifting in the seat of your car,
imagining an old jazz bar,

and waiting for a child to emerge
from whatever passes for school

in your day. Are their birds
in whatever trees remain

on your planet? I’ll give you
birds as well–sparrows
and a finch or two.

No birds roost here,
above the drummer’s kit,
though skylarks and mockingbirds

inhabit tunes. The singer breathes
in time with brushes and keys,

insists, insists, until it seems
we all inhabit the small place

between notes, like the space
between lovers loving on a hot day,

waiting for a stick on the high hat,
for the cadenza, the next kiss,

a war’s end, the grinning child
now rapping on your window.