We found him on the shore, alone in the dark, drenched
by the tide. I called out to him. There was no reply.

He stared at us with brown, stark eyes, a hunted animal,
dazed fox, miles from his habitat. I asked who he was,

his name, from where he came. I heard only waves
grinding shingle down the beach, the drowning of wind.

We took him in, gave him food and the use of a basement room.
He paced about, said nothing, could not keep still, then we saw

that the logo had been ripped from his shirt, plastic cards
removed from his wallet, labels scrubbed from his boots.

At the rise and fall of our anxious chatter he would wince,
turn away. I thought of a man loading the mute chambers of a gun…

a man climbing the local suspension bridge and gazing down…
Hölderlin…John Clare… Paul Celan. We had a linguist in -

she spoke Latvian, Polish, Russian. He shook his head
incredulous. Then the next day, quite by chance,

he found a cello in the attic of our house - I was there -
his mouth opened wide, his eyes radiant with tears.

He rolled up his sleeves and played and played.
Music exploded through the dry hermetic air.9_trance.html