by Arthur Kayzakian
Passing by Wilshire Boulevard, in a moment of time,
I saw a man with the worn, almost black, stitched
name of Donavon embroidered on his garb. Asking
for change. I wonder where he resides inside this body.
Crouched as a temple on the curb, while smooth sky-
scrapers stretch their necks, raise a nose to the sky, too high
to notice the ripping of his jeans. Gargoyle monuments,
building pets, staring at his plea, nothing to give him,
but grey and blank countenance. He thanks the walking
for their hurried pry into their pockets. Donavon listens,
sound has a home found in his Dixie. He finds rhythm
in the dropping of quarters. A silver lashing of wild.
Chaffing melody against itself, no rule--a miracle. I
imagine it is the kind of tempo that Donovan has followed
his entire life. A jingle that has entranced him to an
uncontrollable blind. Searching for song, running
from his own mortality, too afraid to face regret.
I wonder if Donovan listens to sound just to drown
his voice. Music has its way with memory.
I imagine my father as the opposite of sound.
Soothing his prudent hands across the electronic
piano. Note is meter, he tells me. Practicing
on his keyboard he always seems so technical.
A home, careful payment, control. Mathematically
calculating each note, no risk, never letting music
take him away. It helps him confide in uncertainty
because the unknown is a frightening walk. A path
least manifest, but dreamt often. I wonder if he coils
the vibrant rings of chime beneath his ironed suit,
pushing his untamed desires deep inside himself
with authority until it sleeps again. I wonder
if Donovan and my father depend on sound.
Because music answers the questions
we are scared to ask ourselves.
Last updated May 31, 2019