How Needful to Burn

Books of advice, magazines, secret cures,
formulae, strident pages
stiff-legged and shouting expert
in the public square of the indomitable truth,

snapshots of the honeymoon,
paradise in silhouettes, champagne,
a silver script: it all flares up
so eagerly to flame,

takes the match like a lover’s hand
hungry to dissolve.
How urgent to abandon others to their lives
so you can sit in this,

the only room
where both your hearts are beating –
your only hearts and only yours,
the man across the room,

the only man who sees your heart
as the composer saw the birds perched across the alley on the wires.
They were not notes and staff until he played them as they stood
and they blazed into song because he made them so.

Is the tune he plays the song you want to be?
No answer is good enough,
as long as it is yours.