The bodies of strangers
pressed closely together
in white folding chairs
sweating and grateful for that puff of breeze blowing in off the water.
Voices, whispers, polite murmurs, private jokes
Small eddies of sound rise ankle-high
Pooling around pedicured toes in fancy sandals, leather-soled dress shoes, a child’s slipper.
The musicians raise their instruments,
Wood seasoned by sound.
Summoned by touch and pull,
Notes fall from fingertips onto ebony
Wreathing through the crowd
A lyric net catching memories, dreams
Wriggling schools of thought — romance, anticipation, hope
And their darker cousins: regret, worry, bitterness.
Familiar and sweet, telling stories without words
In the unspoken language of memory,
That alchemical evocation of the past,
The music quells and distracts.
Inevitable as a rising tide
New memories are basted together
uniting these hot strangers —
Uncomfortable, waiting —
harmonies like magic, mingling with the breath of guests
Transforming this day,
Ordinary no more
A new story,
Midwived by music and fellowship,