I put it there because the sea stopped singing. The water swilled about its legs,
floated its long black body easily, like a bar of soap. Out there, it was a lightning
rod, or maybe the lightning. When I pressed the keys, the steel strings loosed
themselves from the pinblock, whipped into the water, and drew out melody—a
voice like cellos, like whalesong.
a quiet ocean
is not an ocean at all
just salt and shimmer
Who knows how long this will last. Slowly the salt will eat away the legs, rust the
pedals. The strings will corrode. Or perhaps the shore itself will erode, taking all
the piano with it. What will be the catalyst then? All the people wading in the
water will turn their faces upward, the sun warming the seaspray on their
cheeks, their ears filled with silence.
crustaceans make homes
beneath the felt-lined hammers
claws strike the quiet
Brianna Noll is a Ph.D. candidate in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and she is Poetry Editor of The Account: A Journal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in 32 Poems, The Kenyon Review Online, The Missouri Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Salt Hill, and elsewhere.