Halfway through the recital, a panel clangs open
in his sternum, revealing escapements,
meshed gears, columns of miniature pistons arpeggiating
like a player piano, crimson lung-bags
swelling, pressing against clockwork ribs,
deflating. He glances down from a slightly foxed
self-published volume luminous with post-its.
Behind the counter in the café, the glass-washer
kicks in with a low, oscillating hum.
A widower coughs into a vein-mapped fist.
Outside, people walk past
in neat, unthinking contraflow.