Rhyme

Air an instrument of the tongue,
The tongue an instrument
Of the body, the body
An instrument of spirit,
The spirit a being of the air.

A bird the medium of its song.
A song a world, a containment
Like a hotel room, ready
For us guests who inherit
Our compartment of time there.

In the Cornell box, among
Ephemera as its element,
The preserved bird--a study
In spontaneous elegy, the parrot
Art, mortal in its cornered sphere.

The room a stanza rung
In laddered filament
Clambered by all the unsteady
Chambered voices that share it,
Each reciting I too was here--

In a room, a rhyme, a song.
In the box, in books: each element
An instrument, the body
Still straining to parrot
The spirit, a being of air.

 

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© 2017 Robert Pinsky