|Jul/Aug 2019 Poetry Special Feature|
Multimedia artwork by Belinda Subraman
Bell Ringing in the East Bronx
The difference between music and many other things
is the way it races away from you until it dissolves,
even if you love it. Overhead, a clapper strikes a bell,
and that is the center, the beginning. Bell song rockets
out into the splash of rain on a city street. Everything
is the color of steel: shadows, stones, the sky and all
its clouds, the odor of the tower room in which you
work at the carillon. Your arms are sore from practice.
Nothing sounds like Alleluia yet. Ring down the octave:
steel, stone, rain, more rain coming, and from the leaded,
pointy-topped window, a patch of weak grey light. Your
sheet music, rumpled with damp, slides off the rack, onto
the floor. You are almost too tired to bend and pick it up.
You played those notes twenty years ago. Can they truly
be gone, time-dissolved, but still locked inside your bones?