John Levy

She Is

listening to Beethoven's Piano Sonata
No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor. Again. In daylight
now. Her mother stops outside

her closed door. She is in there,
lifting her arms to the ceiling, alone
near her bed, in

with the music. Her mother
remembers telling her daughter
the Moonlight Sonata

never made her think of, or see,
moonlight. Her daughter said something
about the quality of some

notes, how they seemed and sounded
moonlit, silvery and round. Doesn't it depend on
who is performing? Yes, the daughter

answered, very much. Today
it is Evgeny Kissin on YouTube.
The mother steps back, afraid her girl will see

her shadow under the door. Although
maybe her daughter's eyes
are closed. The mother's breathing

slows and she feels
headed. After six minutes and 44

seconds her daughter returns
to the beginning, her favorite part.
The mother feels herself swallow and stands

still, aware of her throat and then
the soles of her feet
through her shoes, on a floor.

Still Life, Apple and Pear, 1956
Oil on Canvas, Euan Uglow

A red apple without a stem
against which a yellow pear
with a brown stem leans. They meet
our eyes

on a white tablecloth with a blue
sky or wall behind them. Uglow
painted this when I was four or five
and he was 24 or 25. He said his aim

(in general) was to make "a structured painting
full of controlled, and therefore
potent, emotion." A curious
"therefore," I believe. A photo

of him in 1986 (black-and-white)
shows a bearded balding man
sitting in front of a loaf of bread
on a table, one thumb to his mouth, apparently

contemplating what he would
paint. The ceiling low, the studio humble, difficult
to tell if he is posing
or simply caught in the act as the bread is, as the

apple and pear are, before vanishing
into the past. Now I Google
the photographer, Jorge Lewinski, find he
was famous for his photos of artists and therefore

conclude Uglow is
posing. It's a fine
pose in front of the bread. A
marvelous photo including

the bread. Lewinski and Uglow
dead now, the bread and apple and pear
long gone except to those of us who appear
and eye them.

John Levy lives in Tucson, Arizona. His most recent book of poetry is an e-book, On Its Edge, Tilted (otata's bookshelf, 2018).
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