Art by Mawia Hunter

The Last Concert by William Doreski

Art by Mawia Hunter
Illustration by Mawia Hunter

The stars dress more formally
since we counted the oak leaves
fallen that one drab afternoon.

The stars exude atomic hues
to endorse the famous nudes
that step from art museums

to dance to certain tunes scraped
on home-made instruments sporting
one string each. We share a love

of such primitive music, the cries
of mating cats and dog-bark
tuning a chorus in G flat.

By the Charles as conventional
music fumes from the Hatch Shell
couples explore each other’s seams

and find the weak spots where thread
has rotted in the damp climate.
We watch from a safe distance,

remembering that we have counted
enough oak leaves to carpet
the entire river basin. Two

or three little sailboats flicker
in the cold November wind,
their bow lights tracing them back

to the dock to tie up for night.
The last concert of the year
has set the musicians shivering

before an audience upholstered
with boisterous winter coats.
The stars observe with indifference,
but their formal dress expresses
not only the nudes dancing
in Copley Square despite the cold

but also the rehashed Beethoven
churning beside the river.
We watch from a safe distance,

too old to expose ourselves
to the yellow lamplight, too shy
to let the stars understand us.

We can’t process each other
the way those young couples do,
but we can parse the starlight

and read in the various hues
the journal someone has kept for us
in our long, unaccounted absence.

About the Author

William Doreski

“The Last Concert” brings old lovers together in the terms, gestures, and imaginative flux of art.

William Doreski‘s collections of poetry include Waiting for the Angel (Pygmy Forest Press, 2009) and City of Palms (AA Publications, 2012). His poems have appeared in Notre Dame Review, Salzburg Review, Free Inquiry, Yale Review, and Ars Interpres. He teaches writing at Keene State College and lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

About the Illustrator- 


Mawia Hunter is trying to reflect the art and beauty of Africa and rebuild his past and Roots of Sudan.

The Last Concert is one of the many amazing submissions we have received so far for the third edition of The Machinery. To submit, you can read the submission guidelines here.

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