Before Anything

David P. Miller


Window frame shadowed askew over the oak floor.
Rattan shade casts a warp of ripples across the warm parallelogram.
Thin branches shivered by breeze shimmer in moiré.

Before that, wide nineteenth-century planks spotted with ranks of square nailheads.

Before that, a room other side of this door, the floor I expect after twenty-seven years.

Before that —


Low string choirs brush the first note faint to the edges of the ear.

Before that, the conductor waits on his first gesture.
The anticipated note rises at the synapses.

Before that, expectation of a memory of the note, as the unheard rattle of shifting bodies goes to zero.

Before that —  


The heel of my palm against her back where her spine settles.
Fingers rest at her waist as her ribcage gives to breath.

Before that, my skin’s memory of hers. The narrow aura between us.

Before that —  


David P. Miller's chapbook, The Afterimages, was published in 2014 by Cervená Barva Press. His poems have appeared in Meat for Tea, Main Street Rag, Ibbetson Street, Painters and Poets, Fox Chase Review, Third Wednesday, Wilderness House Literary Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, Oddball Magazine, Incessant Pipe, Lyrical Somerville, and Ekphrastic Review, among others. His poem “Kneeling Woman and Dog” was included in the 2015 edition of Best Indie Lit New England. David was a member of the multidisciplinary Mobius Artists Group of Boston for 25 years, and is a librarian at Curry College in Milton, Mass.

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