Now the train cries in triads across the blue prairie snow against the muffled thup thup of my backpack against my thick wool coat, the crystalline windchimes of the December stars: an old vase crashing in slow motion against a marble floor. The train’s voice: what three notes? You knew. I thought you more rooted in the universe. You could pull any note out of the night air, black, white, definite like the world’s answers to your questions. It took me a week of trains to catch all three. Before you, all horns were one. You gave me the difference between trumpets and trombones, you, distinct as the black arms of the trees against the mauve snowy sky. I was inbetween, not the black keys on a piano but the uncharted waters inside a glissando, the somewhere of a slide. Fixed like the sky, I thought you had both feet in the world, firmly grounded. But driving through the misty July mornings it was I who saw the flashes and winks of animal eyes, lost in fog. I taught myself the language of music metaphors to talk to you, foolishly assuming you were studying the linguistics of my life to read me – until a winding road night in June: we stopped in an Iowa town. Here is where I wrote that poem for you. Nothing. Then, what poem? In all your perfect pitch prowess, pulling notes from thin air one by one like grapes off a vine, I was just twenty measures of rest, vamp indefinitely. It wasn’t that you could not hear, just that you weren’t listening, and I never learned to sing in tune for you.