JULIAN BREAM’S GUITAR

Abby Caplin


Nylon strings pulsed by perfect
nails finished in diamond dust, a thumb’s downward stroke
in billowing freestyle—
Strange hollow mahogany
stringed carnival
calliope, prancing and swing-
dancing like a harpsichord
come out of the closet,
his muscular libretto
of Bourrée, or Granada’s triplets
blowing soap bubbles over Spanish plazas at daybreak. The crowd leans forward, breath held as dark jasmine echoes
in wine-bites of laughter
down cobbled alleys—
a roguish smile, in his arms
a trembling torso of rosewood.


Abby Caplin was a finalist for the 2018 Rash Award in Poetry, semi-finalist for the 2018 Willow Run Poetry Book Award, nominee for the 2018 Sundress Best of the Net Award, honorable mention for 2017 Quercus Fall Poetry Book Award, award recipient of the San Francisco Poets Eleven 2016, and finalist for the 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award. Her poems have appeared in Alyss, apt, Canary, Catamaran, Dunes Review, Love’s Executive Order, Mudlark Flash, Salt Hill, TSR: The Southampton Review, These Fragile Lilacs, Third Wednesday, Tikkun, and others. She is a physician practicing Mind-Body medicine in San Francisco. http://abbycaplin.com