The part I sing in our quartet
hovers above or below the melody;
often it sounds like the French horn.
The Lead’s note sounds familiar;
the Bass is the solid foundation;
the Tenor lilts above all, thrillingly;
my part, the Bari, fills it all in.
I make it work, and doing that,
I hear the games the arranger plays,
as no one else can: resonating in me
is the edge of the music, the place
it is most sweet and sour, most
ripe and raw. The music is a house
with furnace roaring in the basement,
twittering birds nesting in the attic,
good cooking in the kitchen, and a ghost
nudging everyone along the spine.
If you doubt that I am a ghost,
listen to the Bari part by itself
if you dare, alone by a window
as darkness surrounds the house;
and you realize how alone you are,
and how necessary that tingle
is, when you wonder if you are alive.