I watch him quietly introduce himself,

Revision:

I watch him quietly introduce himself,

as his fingers find their place
on the guitar. He strums,
realizes he’s messed up, and begins again.
When he sings his acoustic version of a Beatles song, his voice passes

through the sofas, coffee cups, and people,
like the mark a painting leaves
behind, once it’s been taken
off the wall. I look around

and the girls start to smile crookedly,
the boys notice and either
try to enjoy the music more or
catch the singer’s eyes and glare.

Each rising cantation of his voice lifts
me in my seat, leaves me wishing
he hadn’t started, because the
reverberations have caused a rumbling

in my stomach, more a sense of something lacking
than indigestion from an earlier meal.
Watching him slide his fingers
in a carefully memorized way

on the guitar, I’m forced to wonder
what mark I’ll leave
on the others I meet, or
if they’ll even remember.

***

I watch him quietly introduce himself,

as his fingers find their place
on the guitar. He strums,

realizes he’s messed up, and begins again.
When he sings it seems like his voice passes

through the sofas, coffee cups, and people,
like the mark a painting leaves

behind, once it’s been taken
off the wall. Like the sunken indentations

a table leg leaves once it’s been moved
off the carpet, where it’s been for some time.

Each rising note of his voice lifts
me in my seat, leaves me wishing

he hadn’t started, because it only means
he has to end: he has left his mark.

But when I leave mine
what will it be?

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One thought on “I watch him quietly introduce himself,

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