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Late Quartet

by Barry Goldensohn

The second violin is a beautiful woman, Korean,
in a skin tight black dress, whose entire
body expresses every note she plays
but the real action, alas, is in the square
suit named Pigeon, the first violin.
The passion that pours from him leaves
him looking unmoved, untouched. His thin
face is pinched into a dead smile while she heaves
and lunges through her dull repeats, repeats.
How contained this storm is, in its little crock.
This crock contains, however, seven oceans
and all the continents except ice-locked
Antarctica, with its penguins, its fabulous narwhal,
its groaning ice, all deplorably unmusical.


Barry Goldensohn is the author of five collections of poetry, all out of print. He has taught at Goddard, Hampshire, the Iowa Writers Workshop, and Skidmore, from which he retired in 2003. He now lives in Cabot, Vermont.

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