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Concerto for Clarinet and Feet

By Joseph Milosch

Inside the neck of the clarinet
an army opposes breath.
They ride miniature warhorses, Belgians,
with saliva icicles hanging from their bits.
Before the cavalry charges, they slap their chests
with their ancestors’ guns.

Beneath the keys of the clarinet
exists a longing for the splendor of a frost-
tipped rose, as whole communities live in fear
of the monster breath makes; its roar
echoes like a wind whorl
passing through a boulder tunnel.

When the first good note twists,
the cavalry dismounts. Parents
bring their children outside. Workers
and craftsman go home to gather as neighbors.
They stomp until percussion becomes chant,
melding all sound into a psalm, which
skirts the edge of ancient memories.

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