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An old man sat next to me and asked
Why don’t you play an instrument?
You have fingers

I tried to explain that I play an instrument
But I couldn’t figure out how to not sound awkward
When I explained that my fingers only worked
With letters not fretboards
But still with necks and bodies
Carving shapes into the skin
That I can only reach by tracing
The vibrations into moments like
Her perfume hanging in my mouth
Clouding the roof
Making each breath I take taste of lightning
Turning thunderstorms in my belly
As my teeth chatter like a child
Too nervous to ask a question
Which has a branch of responses
When he only wants to sit under the tree
And listen as the rain picks its way through

And I replied that I’d tried
But my fingers seemed to lose their grip
Before I could form a melody

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