by Katharine Towers
If you and I could talk like this – your basso
profundo to my tricksy lilt –
we might invent a nicer line in argument.
It turns on centre of gravity: how the steady
left hand keeps the right from losing touch,
how the right must speedily elaborate
or qualify these stately declarations.
A mote of consonance might make an ending
we could set our sights on: my tune tangled
sweetly into yours as we pick our way
to the final, staggered chord. But you’re still descending
as I climb up the bars, scrambling over flats and sharps.
We’ll settle, then, for this ill-tempered truce:
you still banging away at the deep end,
me somewhere up in the gods, trying the high notes.
This poem appeared on the main NCLA website on 18th November 2010.
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Katharine Towers on the Picador website.
Saying the World festival on the main NCLA website.