“This Too Shall Pass”

claims your landlord's tattoo, but waking
with your heart beating in my bicep
and my arm about to die
beneath you, I remember Esther
my old piano teacher, whose eyes
last time I saw her had long
forgotten light, but always knew where
Olin stood before he spoke: whose hands
so long curled to the keyboard somehow knew
where to grasp when he held out his
thin old arm to her— and wonder
if she felt the metronome inside him,
steady and familiar, wonder
if she heard our thousand clumsy fingers
waltzing on through the world without her?