Anne-Marie Levine

Brown Study

I climb the stairs to your loft.
You open to me with a cold desirous stare
which frightens me.
You show me your toys    musical instruments,
clappers, mallets, drums    electronic equipment.
Rehearsal city, you say.
You show me your room, your bed.
Everything is brown.
You give me tea.
You play the music you have written.

I am a guest in a large brown room
inhabited by a composer
who uses rhythmic and harmonic repetitions
in which minute variations are barely apparent
to draw people irresistibly into his sphere. . . .
I do not wish to be drawn unknowing
into this droning

We lie on your bed.
Your music surrounds us.
You nudge me with your soft beard.
I tell you I have my period.
You shrug.
the music, obsessive, insists.
I shrug.

We rise. the brown bed is red.
Like a battlefield, I think, sourly,
With pride.