The Quotable

Sharing the Reed

First chair clarinet is the boy
with braces, walks on hand crutches,

clicks over high school halls
like his feet are pressing metal keys.

I am fourth chair screeching
like an owl through the long black

night. The boys scowl at the body
as I walk by: mouths open, biting down

on the plush pear, the juice of this music
rushing down their chins. My lips

press the cake covered clarinet
reed after lunchtime—

The thin wooden piece
is split and the conductor

thinks this break is the reason
for the break of the whole ensemble.

What we have in common: the mouth,
the reed, the sound of broken.



Dalenna Moser holds a MFA in creative writing from Chatham University and a BA in English from Goucher College. Her poetry has appeared previously in Coal Hill Review, Weave, Blast Furnace, Schuylkill Valley Journal, and Grey Sparrow among others. She lives in Baltimore.

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