The Blue Guitarist

Sraboni Chatterjee


(From Picasso's Blue Period)

In the worn, dust-strewn skies
above this concrete, bejeweled Brooklyn bridge
where I sit
the old guitarist serenades my
whisky weary head.
Not even the hysterics of
the beaten drunkards, leery robbers, sewer scorched vermin
can stop me this time
They don’t have my number – 
this time.
See me here? Head bowed,
like you over your instrument, nylon and grainy maple
and me over mine,
thickened bloody sarcomeres
its four chambers
counting time for our slow, minor waltz.
And we don’t give one goddamn.
We don’t play for this backdrop of a rusty city.
We don’t play for those starving children, the Dalai Lama, or
even the artist that painted you.
We don’t play for the other seven lonely orbs of ice and rock, 
violently demanding
a sleepy star to keep them on their humpty dumpty wall.
We don’t play for the other members of the orchestra.
Tonight, they are silent.
Tonight, it’s just me and my old, blue guitarist.
And with his broken ebony neck, and my torn, useless
we peel the indigo clouds from this city sky
and we dance
and we dance
and we dance.
Into an augmented reality.
And with each additional measure
I feel the butter of your nylon on my scarlet fingertips.
So I don’t mind when
I drop from my perch
On an old city bridge
And I don’t mind that
With every gram of mass that gravity commands, I fall
into a different shade of blue.