Once a Music Box

Inside the body
of the jeweled bird
a brass scroll with its silent braille
pings thin tines to song
 
a minuet in A minor
echoes along her emerald spine
only when nimble fingers
twist the turning key
just enough
not too much
 
Once
she sang
 
one revolution too many
a spring could not withstand
such tension
something snaps
barely a gasp
 
Once
The gilded feathers
shudder
then so much
quiet
 
No one remembers
the ways of repairing
such things
or maybe
such things
have not been discovered yet.
We could open her
chest
eviscerate the mechanism
to learn its secrets but
no.
 
Better to tuck
the gleaming heart into a pocket
of air
a linen fold, out of reach
until a new instrument
is fashioned to turn
parts
into music
and the hands
who can touch her
into song
are born.
 

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