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  • Still
  • Roy Jacobstein

Still of the September night,       still I limn your malachite eyes             to the white noise of the window unit smoothly cooling the attic. Cool       you'd say when I'd say Sonny Rollins,             tonight, the Blue Note, let's catch him (cool always, whether playing clubs       or jamming the Williamsburg Bridge).             Today a friend confided his shortness of breath whenever he climbs stairs       & his wife's filing for divorce. Men,             it's said, won't even hint at the intimate to other men. Not true, they just need       to be on the verge of suicide. You want             a stress test & some counseling, amigo, killing yourself's a nonviable option—       there's your job, & your two little kids.             She'll change her mind for sure, I lied. When you're lying there alone       in your attic bedroom, 4 A.M. & still             you can't sleep, write an ode to her eyes, to the cool latitude of her body       atop yours. It'll be as close to truth             as you'll ever get, you still want her [End Page 113] with every sweet smothered breath       you can muster. It's the simple truth             of the song from that distant country station pumping its heat into the cool       still air, pumping like a stalwart heart             all the way from a Nashville studio to a Brooklyn attic: you begin       with still, move on to cool, follow             it from there wherever it leads— just don't forget the heart.



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pp. 113-114
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