Mudlark Flash No. 86 (2014)

Luisa Muradyan

Photo of Man Playing the Piano
Kiev, 2013

Poem for the Man Playing the Piano
in Front of the Wall of Police

What was the song your mother would hum?
da de du da, de du da de
dandelions falling out of her hair 
a cup of tea spilling on the hem of her dress.
She once took you to the zoo in Odessa and you watched
an elephant paint a picture of an elephant
and everyone laughed
but you stood there in your silence.
When they told you the storm was over 
in the middle of the storm 
did your clothes begin to stain or did the melody change?
What does rain sound like on a violin? You hear it now.
And just last week lightning struck Christ
the Redeemer and the papers exploded 
with proclamations of the end
or was it the beginning? If your fingers break
can you still cup your hands
into the shape of a prayer?
It was how your mother taught you
God speaks silently, 
that when Babel fell silence was the answer 
or was it the music? 
You sit here on your piano stool
in front of the wall of police, 
silence erupting all around you,
closer to God than you’d ever dreamed. 

Luisa Muradyan is originally from Ukraine and is currently teaching English at Kansas State University. Her work has previously appeared in Ninth Letter, PANK, A-Minor, Camroc Press Review, Anderbo, and Neon Literary Magazine.

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