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Seeing Charles
for Charles Tyler 1941-1992

by Barry Wallenstein

I wish I could trick myself into seeing
you walk through the door carrying your saxophone,
ready to put your music within my words-
word for note or a string of sounds
circulating beneath a phrase
and my voice an element in what you do
rising and falling.

We arrange the pages first and talk
--the music here and the shortages there and
the children, before we actually practice.
We stop for lunch and you stuff yourself-
"I'm eating only for taste,"
and we always smile at that.

The movies show it all the time - sometimes
the ghost is silver, sometimes a faded wraith,
but mostly it's as if the dead were with us -
just that real, and we either cheer the illusion,
make the belief, or it breaks our hearts.
For you Charles we will believe
as long as the trick can last.

 



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