Trombones

A Poem

By Oluwaseun Olayiwola


Outrageous – this deciphering,
– or should I say attempt at –
of the music

of body on body, preface
to eruption, like a snake
charmer whose mouth

is as good as any instrument.
The pitch and timbre
of melody it releases depends

how many of my holes
are covered, how firmly
you block the escape

of air. Punishment –
the brass punch
of it. Thinking the trombone,

having played, but never
mastering it, would have made
two lessons like black doves

fluttering in my ear:
what can finger you
can alter you,

what can hear you
never forgets the cry.
Outside, water stirring

where the moon
calls it. Breathtaking – I mean,
it takes my breath away.