My father was a Catholic jazz musician
Say one Our Father, two Hail Marys,
and listen to twelve recordings of John Coltrane.
Dip your fingers in the font of holy water,
make your way to a pew,
genuflect, take your seat,
and meditate on the perfection of Thelonious chords.
For a confirmation name, you have some choices:
Ornette; Dizzy; Django; Duke; or Miles.
We will set a sign and a seal upon your forehead
of a saxophone,
is the reed between your lips.
portrait in jazz
was a red full-blown rose
that grew from his lips
and his fingertips
as the man made love to the sax.
yeaha rose plucked in full bloom
and artfully thrust
through the white netting
on the round black hat
of a flapper with beestung lips
pursed on a cigarette
laughing over her shoulder
was the man who picked the rose
and asked for a kiss
but got laughter
and cigarette smoke.