Reading Celan in a Subway Station

I can’t say whether the other commuters stand arrested
    by this music—the accordion player
near the vendor’s hutch—but it comes toward me, world-
    sorrow drafting through the hyaline
shell of myself in thought. Reconstruction delays,
    the stench of piss & nothing
weather shaped, nothing ocean spun. Steam hammers
    & dynamite tunneled out
a labyrinth, this inner ear where eros doesn’t linger.
    Unbeautiful in its volts & watt-hours,
its generations of mice. The wall is dinged & saccharine-
    glazed where he plays in a suit.
I follow his fingers’ minuscule work over a column of keys,
    drawing out & in the melody

of that pleated lung. It lifts away from us climbing the stairs
    past horse patrols & jewelry hawks,
past scaffolding & saplings blown like tonophants,
    past fruit stands, placards & idle
Greyhounds, the corridors of silver buildings, the thunder
    with silver veins—it lifts away
because it seeks the high, lone sun. Admit his music,
    Cause-Of-All, it is handmade.

“Reading Celan in a Subway Station” from You Ask Me to Talk about the Interior by Carolina Ebeid. Published by Noemi Press. Copyright © 2016 by Carolina Ebeid.