Michelangelo is Breaking in Half

He was singing beneath Caleb’s window again, the old songs.

My heart still burning, in the shade I alone

Caleb threw open his window. “Dammit! Go away!”

The sun takes its rays away.
Others enjoy the cool…

He was playing the guitar. Caleb, in a moment of weakness, had signed his name on the blank curve of its side. “I swear to God I’m going to call the cops,” Caleb raged at him.

I, in dismay, lie on the ground,
And only weep and moan…

Lights came on all up and down the block. Caleb swore and grabbed a tennis ball from the basket next to the window. “Beat it!” Long practice let the ball hit him squarely between the eyes. He kept playing, fingers busy on the strings, head slightly bent forward over the guitar, his hair falling into his face. More fuzzy yellow missiles pelted him, raised bruises, but he kept playing. He never looked up.

Sirens grew in the distance. One of the neighbors had called the police. He kept playing, the old songs, the sweet songs, his eyes closed.

“Please go away. Please, God, just go away. Just, just go away…”

The old, sweet songs…