There’s a slide, a stretch
a long slip of breathing out a note
where pausing ain’t considered when
the soul of air presses and releases a tight
hold speaking the easy
from the brass of his trombone.
A late Friday night jive bleached
white a Sunday sound of jazz pushing back
the crowd like angels praising
melting thick over desire and need
twisting shoes with hands held high
the innocent and guilty
repent under weak stage lights.
Soft blue cotton shirts painted with sweat
turn and twist silk skirts
into a high beyond the floor
as the man punishes the air
like thunder in church
sliding and stretching a language
born to him.