The gatekeeper to the underworld
is a blind piano tuner. In the darkness
of space he’s hunched over, tweaking
our great long strings
inside earth’s Steinway. All we hear
is the long twanging howl
as each of us passes through
to perfect pitch.
If he ever stops for a moment
to prop the lid and sit
in front of the piano’s grin,
the Chopin or Liszt emanating
from his fingers would light us all.
And, for the length of one scherzo or mazurka,
we’d all forget to die.


Contributor’s Notes: Rebecca Macijeski’s poetry has appeared in Clackamas Literary Review, Lullwater Review and The Salon. She is a graduate of the M.F.A. program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and currently serves as the assistant poetry editor for Hunger Mountain. She is studying toward a Ph.D. in poetry at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, where she is a senior poetry reader for Prairie Schooner. Three of her poems were recently chosen as winners of a 2012 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize. She has been awarded artist residencies with The Ragdale Foundation and Art Farm Nebraska.