Jennifer Davis Michael
Family Music

We sleep chastely at your parents’ house:
you in the basement, full of silent history,
I among the relics of your boyhood.
Tonight, I lie awake under a quilt
stitched by hands I will never know.

I listen to the household symphony:
you and your mother doing the cooks’ dance,
your sister showering before her graveyard shift,
dog and baby pattering staccato on the floor,
ignoring papa’s deep-voiced directions.

I hear this music only from backstage.
To hear it is to know, not them, but you
–my new love, bringer of strange melodies–
as I drift to sleep here in your childhood bed,
alone but wrapped in a seductive tune.