So here’s a guy on Antiques Roadshow
who can’t resist taking a dig at his brother
on national television, even though his brother is dead,
and the guy is here to sell his dead brother’s stuff
on Antiques Roadshow.
The brother and his wife died “prematurely,”
the guy says, from “living life in the fast lane,”
which for this guy probably means drinking warm Ovaltine
with a shot of whiskey once a year on his birthday.
The wife was a violinist,
and here is the guy trying to sell her violins,
two glossy, sexy beasts, like panthers
magicked into wood.
One violin has lived its life in the fast lane,
it has some dings, some mute scars that would never,
now, with the wife dead, tell their stories –
that time it was played by Perlman,
the way his bow brought it to tears.
How even the silence of his large hand gripping
the violin’s tender neck was full of music. How sometimes,
after a particularly long and grueling rehearsal,
she was afraid the wood itself might catch fire,
the rosin bursting into flames.
The guy on Antiques Roadshow neither knows nor cares
that his dead brother’s dead wife’s
favorite thing was walking home after a performance
at night, in the rain,
the avenue splattered with light from a hundred midtown bars,
their doors shouting open like a rancorous family argument
spilling into the street.