by Michael Keshigian

He stumbled upon himself
in the murky maze of a dream
one rainy night, as a boy,
practicing clarinet into a music stand,
a stand that held no music,
his posture poor for playing,
wearing spectacles,
though he never needed glasses,
oblivious to the trumpet timbre
his clarinet emitted.
Curious, he addressed his smaller self
and stated that as you rehearsed
a war ensued in the jungle
and men viewed Earth
from the surface of the moon.
Dictators continued to inflict great pain
and the ice began to melt
as the waters rose
and hurricanes came to wash away lives,
even superheroes passed on,
some more ignominiously than others.
All the time you spent, he continued,
criticisms and corrections you tolerated,
the number of reeds you blamed
for lack of attainment,
the sighs and rants that penetrated
evening stillness
as you bullied the music stand
were endured because visions
of indescribable fame came to you
amid your toil to fulfill a fantasy:
recitals and symphonic halls
filled with audience appreciation,
warm summers at Tanglewood,
all perpetuated your discipline
and eventual desire to be with me,
teaching music classes to other dreamers.

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