In one borough of a city nearly out of surgical masks,
a jazz station repeats like the dream of a better country.
Doctors and nurses labor around the clock, dictating
a Last Will & Testament between critically-ill patients—
given who we are as Americans, the respirator-rhythm
alleges we triumph or perish one grim breath at a time.
In nineteen fifty-four, the April of the year I was born,
no one in my family understood what an aerophone is
or that it fits in the woodwind family, given that a reed
is used to vibrate columns of air released. Nevertheless,
dancers prized Lester Young because he would blow
a tenor sax and sexualize All Creation: Lester heard
health and well-being and long life glide across a riff,
Oscar Peterson on the baby grand, redefining Lovely.