T.J. McGuire

Massage therapy will always come to mind,
not only when jazz speaks to you, so sweet,
but as it slowly f-e-e-e-l-s
Its way over your body, skilled warm hands
reading the Braille of your anatomy.
It gives an entirely new definition to a spiritual
Laying on of hands. Round midnight you learn that jazz,
on any night, can be heard in every language
without using a word, and yet still has voice
Enough to sound and sooth with every color.
It’s where every muscle is completely at ease,
as if putty were the origin of your physiology.
So do you become the center of the world at this hour,
speckled in the soft bronze light of dusk,
where all jazz settles low upon cheeks like freckles or cinnamon—

Dust? Imagine a trumpet whispering sorcery, hands sliding
over you as mellow as black silk, its slow treasury of brass
oozing towards your navel like melted caramel.
Adults know where this is going. I admit, there are nights
I picture you lying there under sheets, white flags
beneath a seduction of melody; how dark red
Velvet reminds you of a cozy cabernet;
how in the quiet deep of muted horn, you think of cities
in the rain. You look up towards the bedroom, wondering
If there really are only seven steps to heaven. And you’ve
always tried so hard to resist surrendering to that hands-on
approach to love, that healing life (and sometimes death) song.
Some nights I picture you lying wherever you may be,
eventually forfeiting to the hands
that read you in their own silent way.

about the author
T.J. McGuire is a juggler. He’s is currently having a blast juggling fatherhood, a nine-year marriage, being consumed by a Stephen King obsession, and writing a novel of which the mere scope of it turns his legs to licorice. Four of his poems have appeared in Flights magazine. He has been a Dayton resident for thirty-five years.