There was a drumbeat

by Aki Schilz


There was a drumbeat, once
and it came deep from the belly of
an orchestra pit where
the harpist had hair
wound long into a plait

By the end of the song, strands
had come undone like threads;
like the threads of each of our
aborted conversations
spooling backwards

into the night when we
almost had the world
and it was so close
I tasted it in your mouth
and in your wild eyes
but even as I reached for it
you stopped my fingers,

pinned them, hard
to the headboard
and the world fell away,
as quickly as
the stars.

The sea beyond the window
was drumming like
those drums
in their pitiless pit
as men sang songs
and waved flags

and revolution meant
nothing; you see,
I surrendered
years ago.

This noise is
all there is left

only, now
an echo
deep in the pit of my chest