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Nobody Knows

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Her fingers drum on the steering wheel during a red light.

A trembling chaos of precision and subtlety underneath.

I’m at the Blue Note. Or at Casa Del Jazz in Rome.

I’m in a Subaru. This is going on right next to me and nobody knows.

I am listening with my body to the percussion

of her hands, flutterthumping. She is oblivious

to how this thrills me. I sit in the passenger seat

and open my legs a little to the sound of it.

It used to piss me off how great she is. What was she doing here,

driving her mother to CVS, cleaning her toilet? Why was she not touring

in Tokyo, grabbing a bite with Joni Mitchell's sidemen,

checking with her tour manager about where they go after Paris?

There are a thousand answers. There are no answers.

But when I sit across the table from her, or we’re stuck in traffic,

the rhythms electrify her fingers like children spilling

through the doors at recess, full-on and ferocious.

The beat bumps breakdance into the dashboard and up my thighs,

and I let the conversation coast, hold my breath, my ears recording,

hoping nothing breaks the spell and frightens her feral fingers away.

It's a gift from her and only her, for me and only me.

And nobody knows. Not even her.


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