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Photograph, One Throne Magazine

"Music to Transcend" by Carlos Henrique Reinesch.
© Please do not reproduce without artist's permission.

by Aaron Kreuter


Dwarfed by the copper canyon

you and the guitar huddle in the sand.

The band of white beach curved

against the cliff's hulking weight,

the massive cragged bulk that

consumes four-fifths of the frame,

soul patches of scree, vertical ridges

like smushed Easter Island faces,

topped with a splay-fingered chord

of blue and white sky, a pine

bent completely horizontal.

The guitar has been down this coast before,

open chords echoing in towering redwoods,

hammer-ons and pull-offs

building in campsites and hotel rooms.

Bought for travel, other worlds,

the hold of a bus cutting across a continent,

eras of rest, and now this:

lent to you for the winter,

the west coast, a new ocean,

old grooves and spurred-by-the-moment

progressions. The stark face of Big Sur,

scratched out by the eons; the scuffed face

of the instrument, your ten thousand strums.

The notes climb the cliff,

spill out to sea, dissipate in the breeze.

Your two shoes, a journal,

the case that fits like a skin,

you and the guitar (I can hear

it even from here), something so small

holding its own against something

so big.


Aaron Kreuter is a writer of fiction and poetry, currently based in Toronto. His work has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry 2014, Vallum, Carte Blanche, PacificREVIEW, and The Toronto Quarterly, among other places. His first poetry collection, Escape Plans, is forthcoming from Guernica Editions.


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