Michael Jones

Interlude in Relative Major

(Bach, Violin Concerto #2, Adagio)

Out of the coiled steps of its lament
the music makes a wider arc, leaving
the shuttered room it paced all night alone

to find morning outside the house: a cypress
layering green into the gray, and two men
chatting, hands in pockets, crossing the street,

walking over pavement merged with familiar
mists. Sea and headland breathing in all day,
out all night. Human measures at land’s end.

I take that music with me through the fog
of western San Francisco, to the bluff
facing Lake Merced and the hidden ocean;

it keeps me standing there just long enough
to see a pair of crows approach a cypress.
First one, then the other, turns and drifts down,

black, light, amid the layered green and gray
echoed in lake water. Then the music,
homing, turns like the crows: a grace of grief.


Michael Jones teaches at Oakland High School in Oakland, CA, and performs as a violinist with the Jupiter Chamber Players. His poetry has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal and elsewhere.



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