A grand piano wrapped in quilted pads by movers,
tied up with canvas straps– like classical music’s
birthday gift to the insane–
is gently nudged without its legs
out an eighth-floor window on 62nd Street.
It dangles in April air from the neck of the mover’s crane,
Chopin-shiny black lacquer squares
and dirty white crisscross patterns hanging like the second-to-last
not of a concerto played on the edge of the seat,
the edge of tears, the edge of eight stories up going over, and
I’m trying to teach math in the building across the street.
Who can teach when there are such lessons to be learned?
All the greatest common factors are delivered by
long-necked cranes and flatbed trucks
or come through everything, even air.
See, snow falls for the first time every year, and every year
my students rush to the window
as if snow were more interesting than math,
which, of course, it is.
Let me teach like a Steinway,
spinning slowly in April air,
so almost-falling, so hinderingly
dangling from the neck of movers’ crane.
So on the edge of losing everything.
Le me teach like the first snow, falling.
– Taylor Mali