for Paco de Lucia
It begins in a small corner of the heart.
Cellular melodies pulsate
across shifting borders
and wandering bloodlines
into the muscled passageways
warmed by a covenant of knowing.
Like ribs that protect and give shape,
the strings of your guitar hold vital,
summon a music coiled in its waiting.
You push the tautness
leap at the edge toward a kind of falling
and question none of it,
anymore than you do the cadence
of your own heart
or how the fingers of one hand
flare, rooted at the frets,
while your other ignites stories
from the rosewood’s blood.
Rhythms rove in a twelve-beat cycle
palmas of the pulse,
the dancer in your hands
stamps a spiral climbing of night.
The music, flung,
lunges into the heat
then rides the silence
the way embers are carried by the wind
to confuse themselves among the stars.
© 2001 by Claire Sykes. All rights reserved.
From The Listening Bell, selected poems by Claire Sykes.