cup of tea. He pushes aside the plates
and serving dishes and begins listing
the letters he must write, the bills he must pay.
Inside, his youngest daughter is practicing
the oboe. He never believed that anything
in his house could be that rich and lean, music
repeating the turns of its own thought, falling
and deepening to a twist of vines cut in the dark
wood of a door. The sound has nothing to do
with himself, and little to do with his daughter
who eats carnitas and dances at the disco.
The dog, sleeping on the tiles, turns
to listen. For a moment there on his elbows
he is no longer dog but a bronze
figure cast by the moon, perfect shadow
and light. Then he scratches himself and wanders
into the kitchen: George, a dog of no breed.
Was the music illusion, too, the man wonders,
the gift of a good meal and solitude?
His daughter plays again. The intricate,
clear notes carve the air. He cannot doubt it.