Mark Tarallo



He draws in, takes a breath, then his right hand reaches
and dips: little trills and glissandos by nervous-

looking fingers that suddenly shoot up the keys and back,
dancing white cuffs reflected in the ebony fallboard while

the heads above the small tables bow ever so slightly
and the middle-aged man sitting front and center

slips into a nodding trance, exquisite appreciation as
the song turns like a ship turning, the bottles on the bar

gleaming like a starry sky, you leaning close
and whispering I love watching the people

get into it, Hicks going deeper, it takes hold of him,
maybe he can remember it all, maybe he wants

to make sense of it, it could be almost anything, the
light of certain cities, the color of their stones, a

sense of freedom by the river, the tidal flats
smelling like escape, maybe he wants to leave it behind,

the tones fading, softening, decaying but never fully
disappearing, dying notes registering past the

familiar, memories returning at all hours,
at weird times and places, your perfume now

on my shirt, which I will wear again tomorrow
to keep you with me, to make you last.



Mark Tarallo is a DC-based freelance writer on policy and politics. His poems have been published in Asphodel, Abbey, Angel Face, and Innisfree Poetry Journal. His honors include selection for Rick Barot's Jenny McKean Moore poetry workshop at George Washington University in 2003, finalist in poetry for the Larry Neal Writers Competition sponsored by the DC Commission on the Arts in 2006, and winner of the Moving Words poetry competition (and subsequent exhibition of a poem of his on Metro buses throughout Northern VA) in 2006.

Published in Volume 7, Number 3, Summer 2006.


More by this author:
Mark Tarallo: Audio Issue