When the Neighbors Fight (Terrance Hayes)

August 24, 2009

When the Neighbors Fight
The trumpet’s mouth is apology.
We sit listening
To Kind of Blue. Miles Davis
Beat his wife. It hurts
To know the music is better
Than him. The wall
Is damaged skin. Tears can purify
The heart. Even the soft
Kiss can bite. Miles Davis beat
His wife. It’s muffled
In the jazz, the struggle
With good & bad. The wall
Is damaged skin. The horn knows
A serious fear.
Your tongue burns pushing
Into my ear. Miles Davis
Beat his wife. No one called
The cops until the music
Stopped. The heart is a muted
Horn. The horn is a bleeding
Wife. Tonight our neighbors are a score
Of danger. You open
My shirt like a door you want
To enter. I am tender
As regret. Mouth on the nipple
Above my heart.
There is the good pain
Of your bite.

*

My own commentary would only diminish this poem’s effect. Better to listen to Hayes read it here. The poem comes from a book called Muscular Music.

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