Reading Celan in a Subway Station  –  Carolina Ebeid

I can’t say whether the other commuters stand arrested
by this music—the accordion player
near the vendor’s hutch—but it comes toward me,
world-sorrow drafting through the hyaline
shell of myself in thought. Reconstruction delays,
the stench of piss and nothing
weather shaped, nothing ocean spun. Steam hammers
and dynamite tunneled out
a labyrinth, this inner ear where eros doesn’t linger.
Unbeautiful in its volts and watt-hours,
its generations of mice. The wall is dinged
and saccharine-glazed where he plays in a suit.
I follow his fingers’ minuscule work over a column of keys,
drawing out and in the melody of that pleated lung.

It lifts away from us climbing the stairs
past horse patrols and jewelry hawks,
past scaffolding and saplings blown like tonophants,
past fruit stands, placards and idle Greyhounds,
the corridors of silver buildings, the thunder
with silver veins—it lifts away
because it seeks the high, lone sun.
Admit his music, Cause-Of-All, it is handmade.