He snuffs the cigarillo with his
Bootheel and turns from the door
And walks back into the dark bar
Where wood and leather gleam
With sweat in the humidity and in
A corner of the room he sees
A dark old assemblage in a box
Of seasoned teak and on it the
Words Erhardt-Lawrence 1895
Inlaid, and inlaid in the chassis
Black flowers and a black windmill
And figures that are obscure
And inside the casing ligaments in
Serried rows like a cascade and
Barbs and linkages and carapace
And this machine is an harpsichord.
He pulls the stool and sits down
And lifts the brittle wood of the
Fall board and the keys run to the
Extremity of sight like rusted teeth.
His breath catches in his chest
As if a mechanism had stalled there.