Daniel B. Silver



I’m watching a video clip on the internet
Of a pianist and his passionate performance
A recital in front of a silent crowd
Folks sit there, listening to Debussy, “Claire De Lune”, mouths agape

I can tell that some people in the audience are enthusiasts
And I can see that some are obviously relieved
By recognition of the nagging, heart-wrenching song
That’s been stuck in their heads and played out in dreams

I’m not so much enamored with the music
Though I admit it’s all easy to field
I’m more transfixed by the tension, the wait
I’m more interested in the rise and fall of the crowd’s chest

There’s palpable urgency in the background’s stilted whispers
Everybody just waits for the composition’s finish
It’s not that they’re unhappy
But it’s not that they’re present for the discovery

Because movies and radio have spoiled the ending
The audience knows when the song will come to a close
Still, as the pianist pounds keys, sweating his way to the finale
I see bodies lean forward in their chairs

The musician’s hands dance something frantic
His cummerbund coming undone
You can hear the masterpiece unwinding
The expression on your face tells me so