by Thomas Davis
King Rotten picked a bone out of the air!
The ivories tickled white with music wild!
Gold flashed and slid within the living room
As fingers pumped and fingers danced and flew
And smiles flowed wine, and feet rugged up the floor!
King Rotten graveled down into his throat.
Queen White bird-thrilled into a belting song!
Prince Rotten grinned his legs too loose for joints
As Captain Jack peered through his windowed soul,
And Snuffer shuffled snuffling through the songs.
And then, as evening swirled her starry dress,
And Rotten grumbled at his puckered lips,
And Queen White sang of wanting fancy shoes,
The bone fell golden to the night’s tired floor,
And ivories danced until they danced no more.
I sat in silence, wrapped in jazz’s womb—
The music died; the silver silence mooned.
Originally published in Wisconsin Trillium.