SKETCH OF A COURTYARD

There were two swans, glass, that I broke throwing headlong.  I threw them out of the park, or rather I exploded its limen, grafting the brick of a dance studio next door with a smattering of that iconoclasm’s “taps,” addenda to those of the dance class being held across the divide – really, I broke nothing; it was sonorous necessity summoning up a random, if superfluous, flight.

A man sat down on the bench demarked by the dilapidated wings.  It was silent then; he was uncapping a flask of port; he was draining it in the next beat; at the dregs, he suspended his exhalation for a moment as conductors do.  The disappearance of the liquid was the score in toto.

His head was similar to the executeds’; just like those birds’ it was mute but participant.  The guillotine was (not me!) the wall, of course: the man was startled by this assertion; he rebelled and crooked his neck, which was supposed to sit straight like the swans’; he injected my composition with the flask, shattering it suddenly in clamorous rage.  I remained silent, but my staves coiled in his wake to a single tone – their clefs settled into monotonies.  My ears began ringing, and I noticed he had struck a match.

Before I saw his cigarette show smoke, he was walking away with it.  Thus I was back again with the knocking of metallic feet; with two women from an overhead window, cackling; with the sun’s light now denuded, clouds a frame.  All was being exposed; the dancing taps – a din, the peals – mere echoes touching me, loosening at each ricochet.  I settled into the next gust of wind; I shivered, though no hair on my arms would stand.