Simon

Standard

Simon

I saw a double bass and thought of you.

When you dyed your hair blue

The principal told you it wasn’t allowed

So you dyed it back

And it turned green out of spite.

I remember when you took my book away,

Sat on my lap and asked me to touch your tattoo.

(The first time I’d touched anyone’s back)

I traced Sanskrit on your skin and you moaned aloud

I blushed so hard

I wanted to disappear into one of the tuba lockers.

…I’m braver now with men’s backs…

I remember how you ran the basses,

The happiest of string sections.

How you teased me

For memorizing Rondo Alla Turca

I played it from memory when I forgot my sheet music

Incredulous big violins in the back

Strumming away.

You asked me to teach you violin once

For your band – your bland garage band.

I did, partly for the money,

Partly to correct your shoulders.

Nothing came of it.

It was nice to watch you play.

You were voted best dancer of your class.

You graduated and left the band room quiet.

We turned somber and kept standard time.

I went across the ocean.

I grew up and outward.

But when I see the cross-country runners,

Or an oddity in the rows of suits,

Or when I see a double bass,

I get a fleeting smell of resin in my nose

And a passing, pleasant memory of you.

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