Gaida: slow air
You hear it as you descend the subway stairs,
the keening that might come from between the stars:
a lament for the loss of what never was,
a dance not danced, that never could be now.
The light has shrunk to eyeglow
and we stumble, navigating as shadows do,
touching walls, avoiding each other’s mass.
The sound is nursed in the player’s arms, grows
into something like a song you think you know
until its notes fall into step with you,
become the tune of a grief you have held
for years, so that you must stand and let the bodies pass,
stand, and stamp your feet. Slow and wild,
the gaida takes you in its elsewhere dance, slow and wise.