The Man Becomes the Music

By Stephen Kampa

It’s not the saxophonist’s fluent phrases
     Cascading in a silver chain
          Articulate as rain
     Unpetaling a bed of roses

That best conveys the tenor of our longing,
     But rather those thin, watery notes
          He breathlessly emotes
     As he runs out of air, still clinging

To the diluted hope death can’t trump feeling
     (The way the last wet petal clings
          Fast to its bud, and swings
     In sputtering gusts, and flutters, falling).


Stephen Kampa teaches poetry at Flagler College, as well as working as a musician. His first book of poems, Cracks in the Invisible, won a gold medal in poetry from the Florida Book Awards. His second collection, Bachelor Pad, was published this spring by the Waywiser Press.