Emily Vizzo


You have said you lost an earring.

An abalone teardrop, unnaturally heavy in the palm.

What I know of loss begins



Within a quiet shop, a piano-scale of sorrow.

Gloss of keys. I chose one song from many

using index fingers.


Never love a sister. It lasts

too long. My grandmother on her deathbed,

an old woman, begged that her younger sister,

also an old woman, be cared for.


That long? I remember thinking. I, who count

sisters with impatient fingers. Dread

a familiar vest. Too many

ways to lose.


Have you ever

dismantled a piano? Unpinned

its hinges and lifted out its keys?

The hidden harp is sharp, and tight.


Its taut-drawn wires prick

away with an axe, a sledgehammer,



The dark hair of my sister leaves

my mind. Listen, I was never

the song.


I have tried to join things

back together. To undo sorrow

w/ blunt tools.


Here is your earring

and a handful of piano pins.

Here is your torn earlobe.

Here is your handful of hair.