When you stop off at rehearsal you can stumble
and still be forgiven. Your shadow practices. A light
says, “Good, good,” where the piano meditates
with its wide grin, maintaining order as usual
but already trembling for time to go again.
Outside the hall a monstrous Oregon night
moans with its river of wind. It stumbles. Lights
flicker, and your shadow joins everything that ever
failed in the world, or triumphed unknown, alone,
wrapped in that secret mansion where genius lives.
Maybe it is all rehearsal, even when practice
ends and performance pretends to happen in the light
that remembers more than it touches, back through all
the rows and balcony tiers. Maybe your stumbling
saves you, and that sound in the night is more than