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Faures Second Piano Quartet

 On a day like this the rain comes
down in fat and random drops among
the ailanthus leaves---"the tree
of Heaven"---the leaves that on moon-
lit nights shimmer black and blade-
shaped at this third-floor window.
And there are bunches of small green knobs, buds, crowded together.
The rapid music fills in the spaces of the leaves.
And the piano comes in, like an extra heartbeat, dangerous and lovely.
Slower now, less like the leaves, more like the rain which almost isn't rain, more like thawed- out hail.
All this beauty in the mess of this small apartment on West 20th in Chelsea, New York.
Slowly the notes pour out, slowly, more slowly still, fat rain falls.

by James Schuyler
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