This reading was recorded by Alessandro Mistrorigo at Phonodia LAB in Venice, Italy, on the 18th of April, 2014.

Read by Rita Dove on 18 April 2014


----------------------(Kill the lights. Cut the atmo.)

A boy and his violin:
That's it. The one tucked
into the side of other.
Both small, unremarkable–

----------------------(No no no no. Add the pink gel.)

until one of them moves:
The boy lifts his arm,
on the violin floats up
to kiss his chin.

----------------------(Spot #8 now, a whisper of gold.
----------------------Grow it and fade the pink on my count:
----------------------five four three . . . slowly, slowly.
----------------------Drown the forestage. Let is seep in.)

A man can vanish between
the downstroke and the fist note's sigh,
from one word to the next, a wink and a nod.
He'll evaporate under a lady's glance
as her smile slides across the room.

----------------------(Do we want for machines here?
----------------------A little much, maybe . . . but spill some purple
----------------------along the boards in back, then lift it
----------------------up the scrim like a rising curtain of melancholy
----------------------an Aurora Borealis of the soul. I know,
----------------------that sucked; you get the drift.)

But a boy looks out
from the backs of his eyes.
A boy stays where you put him,
invisible, until you hiccup–
----------------------(Full floods, on my mark: Go!)

and suddenly he's there.

from Sonata Mulattica (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., © 2009 by Rita Dove). All rights reserved. Copying to other websites or any kind of reprint is a violation of international copyright laws and strictly forbidden.

Share this Poem with your co-workers or friends