Sascha Feinstein
Palm/Psalm

—for Pravin

I think of my brother-in-law leaping from his chair
After a local soccer win that he cared about
Marginally, but got caught in the swell
Of a family crowd, and how his splayed hands
Touched the belled bottoms of his mother’s lamps,
Enough for them to tilt, dislodge, and fall,
Spectacularly, to the not-soft-enough Indian
Carpet. Each shattered clink spoke to his reprimand
Though he was a young man by then,
Worlds beyond spanking or shattered curfews,
And he promised replacements, regretting
An explosive response to a sporting event
He won’t remember if I ask him now.
But he’ll recall how long it took
To find someone selling what was required,
Scouring Singapore streets like a relentless S.
And he will remember, if I ask him now,
Why he leapt, and how important a leap can be
To celebrate a moment that could be lost
And might be saved like a teacup, nudged
Beyond a flat surface, into a palm.

Sascha Feinstein’s books include two collections of poetry (Misterioso and Ajanta’s Ledge), two memoirs (Black Pearls: Improvisations on a Lost Year and Wreckage: My Father’s Legacy of Art & Junk), and a collection of interviews (Ask Me Now: Conversations on Jazz & Literature). In 1996, he founded Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz & Literature, which he still edits. He is Robert L. and Charlene Shangraw Professor of English at Lycoming College. www.SaschaFeinstein.com