Delivery and rubbish trucks
Keep playing those first two notes of Für Elise
Like a woman who keeps on bleeding long
After she’s done having children

But I have a piano
Whose each key plays an entire piece:
Brahms’s lullaby, Wagner’s Wedding and
Chopin’s Funeral March

But there is another world
Where women wear peppery colognes
And men floral perfumes to appeal to the opposite sex
Where they run to meet each other, miss
And going on running
Where young people of opposite sexes meet in public toilets
To play dress-ups in each others’ clothes
Until the invention of hookup apps

And in lieu of marriage
Some undergo decapitation
And recapitation with the head of their beloved

How well I remember the day
I came out of the womb fully clothed
Saying the same word over and over
A pocket full of coins to spend in the arcade
Ah, those games in which the objective
Understood or not, was to achieve
Or to prevent pregnancy, perhaps to learn
An instrument
And do your best not to die before you die

And when my piano is prepared
With coffin nails nailed against the strings
(Just ordinary nails—no hoax, I swear)
The strangest thing
Of all occurs:
The song goes on playing
As on an Electric keyboard when
The keys are set to produce vocal sounds
like a radio with the receiver removed
Under a medium’s hands

Jal Nicholl is a surrealist poet who has been published at Misery Tourism, Expat and Terror House, among other places. He has also published a volume entitled Oyster Mountain with Nine-Banded Books. Don’t believe everything you read about him online.

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