the song of the strings

the song of the strings brought me to this sticking point
where neither fore nor back is plausible
I sailed I reeled I keeled on the rocky shore
my eyes charmed fast shut
my mind blinded to the future

and still the song continued
as the sun spun round and rose and fell
at the end of the day or perhaps at the onset
I lay exhausted, spent
the song of the strings became me

He sat in the sun

He sat in the sun on a bench in the park, his jacket too heavy. ‘May I?’ said the woman who appeared out of nowhere, pointing at the other end of the bench. ‘Aye, of course,’ he almost said but instead grunted and nodded and looked away. It’s not much of a story to tell, the woman may have thought, unless I invent that he is famous or an actor or identical to that man who had done that terrible thing when she was only a child. Her parents had turned the newspaper over but she had found and read the article, following the words with her finger. The memory had stayed with her like a fishhook through the lip. She sat and did not look at the man, who did not look at her.

He did not answer when she first spoke to him, nor later when she stood up and left. All he could think of was his daughter.