Attic

The eaves are ears that funnel blast and squeal
from the road below, shouts on the water,
cutlery dropping on the stone patio
of Au Paradis, where an Arab wedding
goes all night, and the man stretched
to sleep beneath the eaves across the street
breathes to this music, accepts its thrum
along the places where his muscles touch
the mattress touching the frame, touching
the floor, touching the beam, the stone wall
that drops to the cobble touching the road
against the wall across the street under the feet
of the dancers, themselves collecting throb
from the stone on stone on stone. The man
alone in his bed is there with them
dancing at another wedding, that of his childhood
friend at a restaurant in the south, the village
of their youth tucked into mountains
that carried their own rumble into boys’ bones,
one that would hum in ribbons of asphalt
for thirty years before they came home men
and clapped each other’s shoulders
where the root of wing still reports
its percussive throb. He needs to sleep
but he doesn’t want the noise of it
quiet yet, its weather of possibility,
promise of coupling, conception,
a connection that is not pure idea, not
the flimsy melody of memory,
but the body with its thoughts
shaken out like a rug, his skin
and bones clean instruments
with which all possible horrors
can be driven from our midst.

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