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Rouan Wilsenach

‘I tell my piano the things I used to tell you.’ Frédéric Chopin


You find a scratched vinyl in the basement,
its label is nothing but a yellowed strip –
I watch you touch the needle to its surface,
your eyes narrowing as you listen to the static
for a trace of melody. For what feels
like hours we don’t move, willing the crackle
to sing. I see your lips part, feel the air
you draw in as you hear the first note
break through. Muffled at first, like a voice
from behind a wall, the pianist plays
against the static tide. You smile
when you recognise it, raise
your hands above your knees and play
imaginary keys, your back arced.

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