“First Violin” by Eric Norris

You and Schoenberg are both new to me.
New as this floor. I lean against a futon,
Flossing Crisco from my fingers with
Brown paper towels that feel recycled. Coarse.

You tighten strings and test them with your bow.
I look up from my hands to where you stand
In silhouette. A charming scimitar
Of candleflame dances from cheek to cheek

As you begin a solo you have been
Practicing a long time. I close my eyes.
I tip my head back on a throw pillow
Smelling so strongly of us I can’t help

Pretending that you studied violin
So you could play for me—and me alone.


Eric’s poems, short stories, and reviews have appeared in: The New English Review, Foglifter, Ambit, The Peacock Journal, Classical Outlook, E-Verse Radio, Softblow, Assaracus, Glitterwolf, New Walk Magazine, The Raintown Review, The Good Men Project, The Nervous Breakdown, and American Arts Quarterly. His latest book is Astronomy For Beginners. He lives in Portland, Oregon.