Instrument Left in Its Case

My life sucks, but my wife won’t,
he said, rolling onto his back
on my massage table.

He laughed, a painful choke,
as his penis slowly rose,
quiet question tenting
the flannel sheet.

I think he wanted—
not to be blown,
but played,

trapped song
coaxed from him
by careful embouchure
and another’s breath.

I heard the faint thrum
of his loneliness
all the way home.

Francesca Bell