Tavye Neese

Cormorant Keeper

He will tell you
after all those years snapping necks, of music—

how feathers muffled vertebrae’s timber,
how black eyes, sharp as whole notes, softened.

He will tell you
the first decade, he cupped his ears,

the third, he began hearing cymbals.

Do you curse his quick hands and symphony
while you lay your greasy yen against his skin?

Forget the rhythm of cleaver, breastbone’s simmer?
Their pitch is of your hot chamber.