Pure verb

Lee was playing Liszt on the Bösendorfer,
wrinkling his nose — he still had some beef
with Liszt, but, he said, it would be
a greater shame to let these six extra keys
just sit there — I don’t understand
the Prince said quietly, weeping at the beauty
of the decadent music, the dark pearls
clittering down his porcelain cheeks,
collecting in a small pile in the deep folds
of the Heriz. The tone is more sensuous
in the middle range, Lee said, looking out at
the night as he played. But, mon dieu,
how the keys stick in this heat — packing
you tight with newspaper for the winter
can’t help that, alas, he smiled at the great black thing.

Noah Warren

Noah Warren

Noah Warren is the author of The Complete Stories (2021) and The Destroyer in the Glass (2016), winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Recent poems appear in The Paris Review, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. He is a PhD student in English at UC Berkeley and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford.
Noah Warren

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Author: Noah Warren

Noah Warren is the author of The Complete Stories (2021) and The Destroyer in the Glass (2016), winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Recent poems appear in The Paris Review, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. He is a PhD student in English at UC Berkeley and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford.