In summer heat the city terrifies as buildings bend.
You do not touch their frame but want to lean
on something sturdy like a page. Maybe a page
that lives in a book that remains on the nightstand.
It’s furniture that swims in your brain. At least
the root is there, grounding you before wandering
like a whiff of jazz down the alley. You follow
to forget the words, lured by a louder sax, never
thinking of the steps leading to music. Sometimes
steps flex while crowds are sleeping, sometimes
they switch places with the rails. You rarely stop,
you never think about how touch can displace
steel, the shimmer you leave in your wake.
In our dream band, on tenor sax:
Eric (Charles) Steineger teaches English at East Nashville Magnet High School. His work has been featured in such places at Rattle: The Poets Respond, Waxwing, and The Los Angeles Review. For ten years (2012-2022), he has served as the Senior Poetry Editor of The Citron Review, and is on sabbatical this fall. He lives in Nashville with his daughter.