Heinrich Biber 1644 –1705
He tears notes from the throat
of his violin, a savage gathering
blood and sinew into sudden music
taut as a tendon, glistening wet
on the surface of an open wound.
Shadows there are now, and light
lining up on ridges, tracing lines
of bone and hair on skin.
The woman hears the trammel
and tread of footprints. They mount
her spine - the legion of history drops
its baggage, scrabbles to set up camp
on the tip of her scapula.
He is a madman, this dead musician
his violin nothing more than an ancient tree
cut down. He sends reconnaissance troupes
of sound ahead, instructs them to navigate
the rise of her shoulder, circumvent
her clavicle, find a way into her chest
cavity. She is packed with kindling
splinter-dry. His bow parts her ribs,
singes the corridors of her body.
And look. She stands to leave
the room. See the telltale burn marks
where the soles of her feet touch
the floor? Leger lines smoulder
beneath her chair. There is the threat
of fire in the air.