The morning is gray and quiet
as a black and white photograph–
snowy road, empty tree,
and the sound of a silent dog
who though deaf is listening
as a man who has lost his hearing
can hear the Bach violin concerto
he played when he was twelve.
Eyes shut, and fingers moving
along the strings
as Borges claimed
to read a medieval manuscript
through his blindness,
that transformation of quiet
a black hole to another universe.
But then the furnace rattles on,
and reminds me that once my father woke
to stoke the old coal-eater and my first sounds
of dawn were radiators
creaking. Of what were they made,
those ribs of tin or lead or steel,
those bones of morning,
gray and breathing.