Somebody we knew and hadn't heard of for a time,
but suddenly, and from a woman he was going to marry
a year gone now. The funeral came and passed
while we were doing something else of small importance.
What I wonder is, if all those pianolas he repaired
are still together, standing in the cloudy rooms
with melodies performed by famous ghosts on yellow rolls,
as though mere wood and felt and wire could reminisce.
But they are just components now
in rooms whose darkness echoes with as many dusty jokes.
And others drinking down long darkness will be joking still
next door the house that Death left vacant,
even though the anecdotes are just connected words.
And those for whom he made new limbs
have separated and now call their arms their own.