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Like rain, that silvers out of a silent sky— “So hard,” you said. And I sent back my heart in a vain try To hold below your voice Some remnant memory of strange songs he played. (These moments never quite return— Not through all the years I’ll count and spend, Or light tapers to old gods and watch them burn.) “Like granite feet”— You laughed, and then came back, “Both light and strong, A tracery of rock on rock.” The moment opened wide and let me in. I looked behind As a man who plays with sin, Knowing what it was I sought— The “variation” he could never play, That from his fingered keys would always stray Uncaught. “You seemed held deep In thought.” I lied to that—confession’s cheap, A lie’s a compliment— And found myself wondering where to heap New devotions that would keep Your eyes in mine In this strange experiment. We were in a net Of other people’s words: They crossed us there like swords. At last I tipped my hat And felt your tension drop— Hearts stop perhaps Like that. No doubt you will forget The evening when we remet: For you a door had edged and closed Upon a stranger awkwardly disposed When I went out. For me the days will live it through each time In a kind of troubled rhyme— When concert whispers rise and fall, And other Russian preludes run Up chromatic scales and down. Repelled by chatter, and in vain, I’ll watch the faces for a sign; As when I held out hands and cried, And of all the souls that faced my way Only yours replied.