So the songbird sings of the city below the sea.
Perhaps it’s on the same water that I learnt
what it means to travel with home in my pocket.
Ours is a house of songs. Father,
a bald musicologist fingered his piano for a
ballad before an open window
through which we bore witness to the aesthetic
array of cloud patches.
Other days, you could catch father asleep
with a rhythm clutched to his chest.
Mother, a songsmith, usually bent over a wet floor
or broken china thinks of kintsugi as an art of renewal.
But that was early, before the voyage through the sea
in search of a hymn.
Father could have sworn he heard the sea say his name
at the coda of his performance,
of course I should write from inception:
Father steered our boat clear of known places,
to cut through morning haze into a museum of songs.
Arrayed as artefacts in their cases, 150 of them, awaiting an audience.
Father, lost in an epiphany, arched his head at an angle
as if to align his ears with the frequency of water.
He entrusted the oars to me in a sea where I’m no captain,
we plunged deeper into the water:
here’s a school for learning the enigma in the creation of pisces,
designed as though there’s a foretelling
of water as a home of songs such that squiggle too is a dance move
—this we know as ritual.
The inequality of grace put father in a class of saints.
I return, with a plethora of dirge, to mother who now is broken.