You gamble on good days,
throw the dice at a five o’clock
moon on the off chance that the
sixty minute drive northbound
will be free of the antlered ones,
their belly heavy mates swaying
from late beds to early breakfasts.
You wager on having just enough to get by,
the low side of fierce when you drag
armor and its weight drags at your very being.
Like seeing the hulk of the 1906 piano
minus keys, minus its damper assembly,
minus the music and you miss your soul.
You wonder about the slick fixer in the art
city by the river who will rewrap each hammer
and has conned you into believing that the
songs lie deep within the mahogany and not
the curling scraps around his feet.
After the day’s dealers go home, you gather
your take and the bag is heavy: the moon long
down, the fox settled into her den in the middle
pasture below the massive cedar. You listen
to the wind through its blue berried arms and
know for sure that what you hear tonight is true
music, the soughing notes all you need.