for dorothy ashby
u coaxed a syncretic hard bop out
of the perpendicular positioning of a
plane of strings; in a love object/
instrument squeezed between yr
knees, in a long, graceful wooden
neck resting lightly on yr shoulder.
yr austere, imposingly fleet fingertips
pushed by pistoning arms & hands
picked & plucked strings of silver,gold
nylon & gut. a glissando flourish here, an
infectious groove there, that cut right
into the flesh of blues that bled
buddhist—that bumped & skipped
a peripatetic meditation, opening &
extending bebop to let the gospel in,
to let the boogie in, to let the hemistech,
quatrain & the spirit of khayyámi in.
to become radiant & reveal the
heavenly perfection in yr soul.