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  • Revolution Staccato in B
  • Cynthia Manick (bio)

One thousand saxophones infiltrate the city,   two by two and each with a pulse of its own.

Some have bodies big as elephant ears   and heavy-lipped missiles shoot from their pitch.

Others take the long way down.   Sopranos drop octaves along the banks,

making concave grooves settle into the click   of thigh bones and cypress knees.

They leave behind G scales in the grass,   mounds full of girls mouthing yes yes.

The altos want to turn New Orleans red   play Summertime in the streets,

have it gulp into bellies like ribs swathed   in barbeque, liberate bodies from inside out.

They all want night to end full, to riff reeds   on every corner, every concert hall,

have it settle like gold dust from clit to clavicle.   Watch them turn the city into a panama of sound,

a house of blues, until it swells like an open mouth   and babies are scatting in their sleep. [End Page 897]

Cynthia Manick

Cynthia Manick is a Cave Canem fellow. She holds a BA from Hollins University in English and Philosophy and a MFA from the New School. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in African American Review, Mythium Literary Journal, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and Tidal Basin. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.



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