We were so unlovely. We butchered our bows
on the crescendos. Our fingers pawed
the backward strings, drunken pizzicatos
clattering the lanes of a quiet town.
The hymn broke through,
violas parting wild ground
like the plows of heavy horses,
turning up a skeleton of sharped C’s
and switchback scales. It looked
so simple—whole measures
on a single string—but then the violence
of pursuit, cellos bucking their separate arcs,
half the violins stalling in air.
Still, I heard it hum
the phrases of my middle ear,
the theme of my short drive home,
love’s face gone from the window
of the night café, a dog’s bright collar
dancing a diminuendo in the crosswalk.
“Rhosymedre” (“Lovely”): a song adapted by
Ralph Vaughan Williams for “Three Preludes on
Welsh Hymn Tunes,” now a staple of small orchestras
Amy Miller‘s poetry has appeared in Bellingham Review, Many Mountains Moving, Nimrod, Northwest Review, Permafrost, Rattle, and ZYZZYVA, and the online chapbookRough House (whiteknucklepress.com). She won the Cultural Center of Cape Cod National Poetry Competition, judged by Tony Hoagland, as well as the Whiskey IslandPoetry Prize and the Cloudbank Prize, and has been a finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize and the 49th Parallel Award. She lives in Ashland, Oregon, where she is the poetry editor of the NPR listening guide Jefferson Journal, works as the publications project manager for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and blogs at writers-island.blogspot.com.
Noh Anothai was a researcher with the Thailand-United States Education Foundation (Fulbright Thailand) from 2011-12. In that time he translated programs and hosted cultural events for Thailand’s College of Dramatic Arts under the Ministry of Culture. Winner of Lunch Ticket’s inaugural Gabo Prize for Translation and Multilingual Texts in 2014, Anothai’s original poems and translations of Thai poetry have appeared in Ecotone, The Berkeley Poetry Review, and others. He has contributed to Words Without Borders and Tin House, and serves as a reader for the international River Styx poetry contest. He teaches for the online MFA program in Creative Writing at Lindenwood University.