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.



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