I cling to my Gretsch
like a hellcat Bo Diddley,
playing pentatonic licks
that I bend into a twang.

I imitate Doc Watson,
a flat-picking pioneer,
playing “St James Infirmary,”
hoping to perform
as a Grand Ole Opry Star.

My chords say more
than words can.
I speak with a twang
of adoration of you,
down to the root
of my naked soul.

Music perfumes the air,
and transforms folks
with anguished faces.
When they start to move
they discover feet,
they never knew they had.

They find they can embrace
in a dance of elegiac tenderness.
Octaves apart, they harmonize,
singing trills and arpeggios
down to their toes.

I’m surrounding you: