The Brink

I cannot seem to swallow
the saxophone solo

the saxophonist squints his sunken eyes
looking like the band
found him sleeping on the street on their way into town,
and thought they’d try him out

homeless and hungry he looks
unfillable and completely
fulfilled he

sinks his lips into the warm rumble
climbing a mounting crescendo

he is on his feet, bird-like legs no longer
crossed too tightly at the knees his

nose is bleeding slowly over the crest of his mouth
spreading over his vibrating reed,

a room full of “listeners”
taste his blood on their tongues.

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