Hélène’s Hands

This moment is not lost on me. 


The softly-played notes of

Hélène Grimaud

pull me up into

the clouds

and I cannot

will not

come down

just for you.


I get lost in her fingers

as I imagine their dance

up and down the piano keys,

her face tilted toward them

her heart breaking




with each note.


My soul is on fire today

or at least

it is doused in something

almost recognizable.


Each sip of my coffee warms

the angel inside of me.


Demons perched

on my shoulder

complain they

are not dressed for this occasion.

Their ragged, burnt uniform

I gave them

long ago.


‘Hold me,’ she said,

the angel in my bosom.


The demons, the pair,

sit down in a humph

with the crooked jag of their chins

finding home on raised hooves.


I dare not look their way.


From my seat above

the room where I once lay

I gently reach down

and pluck the angel

from my own chest.

My heart is cradled


her curled-in wings,

a cocoon

of tenderness.


I had not noticed

that with my reach

the demons have


the other way




The notes quicken


with emotion

and the angel

softly kisses my lips,

the site of lost sound.


my cheek,

the path of lost tears.


my eyes,

the memory of lost sight.


Where did the demons go?

Where have they flown off to

in such a quiet rage?


My chest lays open

and the angel

gently unfurls her wings

and my heart

returns home.


‘I’ll stay up here a while more,’

I told her,

buying the time

with a savored sip

of the cloudy piano notes.


‘Stay a while,’ she whispered

as I noticed her hands

for the first time

lovely like Hélène’s.

‘You know where I put it.’














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