The Common Good
July-August 2003

A Man Playing the Flute from a Cliff Above the Pacific

by Kate Bowman, Joseph Ross | July-August 2003

Indigo true

Indigo true
purest blue,
a man on a cliff
waits with open hands
and closed eyes
to receive
a breath.

The Pacific lies before him shimmering
he lies back
heart cracked, almost in half
but he does not care,
he waits so willingly.

And then,
his lips
touch wood
in this most delicate kiss:
hesitant, blushing
then pressing, flushing
every breath down this
perfectly carved canyon
of sound.

And the breath
is transformed
into a melody
an opera a symphony
it comes.

This tune spills forth
down rocks worn away
across sands trying to stay
where they are:
a battle they have lost
for centuries.

They all watch this breath
this song
as it stretches
finally unbound:
like the open hands
of Lazarus.

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