Mother’s mother lies as a wisp in the crevasse
of pillows on a propped bed amid the flurry
of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” sputtering
from the tinny radio. Her right hand bows tremolo
seemingly. A continuous flutter of motions
seeking its cello now long-lain in velvet
and rusty clasps. The left hand is dystonic
like storm-stripped umbrella ribs, like the dead
spider on the sill. Cyan skin with florets
in hazels and mauves veneers her emergent clavicles.
I can turn away and close my eyes to the open
window. The radio cues a waltz and I can feel
the bed jostle with the bow-bounced spiccato
and the answering long-bowed quivering vibrato
of the left hand. The spider gingerly reanimates
its legs and explores the gap around the window
screen. My grandmother rests her cello
and, floral skirt in hand, twirls to the music
careful not to brush me as she passes.
Jaffa Kintigh has previously been published in di-verse-city and Tres di-verse-city as part of the Austin International Poetry Festival. He received his M.A. in Creative Writing—Poetry from the University of Illinois at Chicago, having previously studied poetry at Iowa State University and the University College of Wales in Swansea. Jaffa resides in Chicago, IL, USA, where he’s writing an urban fantasy series. His blog: Jaffalogue.