by Patrick O’Leary

My wife is whistling
in the next room
a song I had been
playing on my computer
It sounds so much better
stripped of its complex
arrangement of instruments
each poised just so
before expensive microphones
each taut with the fierce tuning
& concentration it took
to arrive at take 28
so that by the time it reaches
my ears I cannot hear it
It is refused entry
& the song goes bouncing backward
across my green lawn
newly raked & proudly displaying
its neat row of stuffed brown bags
of hidden golden leaves
soaring over the gutted
post-meltdown Detroit
which from this height
looks almost pastoral
& onward it flies
across the green & silver highways
of those boring eastern states
It zooms across the slate Atlantic
like some mythical steel bird
& agrees to settle back
into the castle where
an extremely wealthy pop star
surrounded himself with extremely
accomplished musicians each
paid more for this gig than any before
so understandably there is a certain
tension to the proceedings
that cannot be dispelled by
that really nice melody
which can only be heard
when refined & reduced & remade
into the whistle of my wife
(you remember my wife don’t you?)
There is simply no comparison
What she does with that melody
& her lips has got to be heard
to be believed Oh God
now she’s humming
Don’t you wish
you had married her?

Patrick O’Leary’s poems have appeared in literary magazines across North America. He is the author of three novels: Door Number Three, The Gift and The Impossible Bird (Tor Books) and two collections: Other Voices, Other Doors (Fairwood Press) and The Black Heart (PS Publishing). He lives in Troy, Michigan with his wife, the artist, Sandy Rice.  http://web.mac.com/paddybon.

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