Katherine E. Young

Interval

You say that “interval”
means the space between
our two notes, structure
of a chord in a tune
by Monk: you think in jazz.
Your heartbeats riff, solo, jam.
You seek syncopation,
seek collaboration,
seek concatenation.
“Emotion” and “flow”
are your middle names.

Your last life, you sat in once
with Mingus, felt him
lay down that groove,
your hands, lips, whole body
poised to pass it on.
“I’m a sensual man,”
you say to me as you stroke
my keys, pluck
my catgut strings, blow
Coltrane through my bones.

 

“Interval” previously appeared in Rosebud and is reprinted by permission of the author.

 

Katherine E. Young is the author of Day of the Border Guards (University of Arkansas, 2014), which was a finalist for the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize. She is also author of two chapbooks: Van Gogh in Moscow (Pudding House Press, 2008), and Gentling the Bones (Finishing Line Press, 2007). Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Iowa Review, and Subtropics. Young is also the translator of Two Poems by Inna Kabysh (Artist's Proof Editions, 2014); her translations of Russian and Russophone authors have won prizes in international competitions and have been published widely in the US and abroad; several have been made into short films. Young is a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts translation fellow and currently serves as the inaugural Poet Laureate for Arlington, Virginia http://katherine-young-poet.com/ To read more by this author: Evolving City Issue, and Museum Issue