Magazine article The Antioch Review

On the Hottest San Francisco Day in Recorded History He Plays Piano and She Listens

Magazine article The Antioch Review

On the Hottest San Francisco Day in Recorded History He Plays Piano and She Listens

Article excerpt

She recognizes the music her grandmother used to play. Once, when the girl took lessons, Her grandmother played a piece by Mozart That the child had stumbled through Not understanding its potential.

The grandmother played so beautifully The girl leaned her head against the piano And wept as if for inevitable disappointment.

It is quiet and hot all around the music. How light-headed she feels - dry heat pushing her Into some clear, unexpected blue place

Where newspapers identify currents of the soul: Record heats that will be superseded by new ones, Surprise aftershocks of the quake that was not the big one.

She can hear her grandmother saying, "One thing in my life I'm happy about - I fell in love only once."

Though as a child she learned to doubt her grandmother Who told fictions, sometimes to awe her And sometimes to frighten her into good behavior,

The woman believes her, that she fell in love only once, That when the handsome captain First came to her family's home in Constantinople,

Her grandmother arrived finally And fully in her heart. …

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