Golden Shovel for Arthur Russell

My cello sits in the corner collecting dust. This
could be embarrassing but the fine layer of rosin and mite is
invisible from under the sheets where an almost stranger asks how
long I’ve played. He hears since the age of four and we
move on even though I said fourth grade. I walk
him through my senior recital of Grieg and Britten. His nods let on
that he might actually know these names. Am I familiar with the
music of Arthur Russell? and when I say no, his eyes widen like a waxing moon.

So it has come to this?
Another young queer who is
unbothered by how
the parties dimmed and we
had no choice but to walk
to make noise for our family on
their skinny behalf, to avow that the
spirit rises and awaits us on a distant moon.

He wastes no time, scrolls through Spotify insisting that we listen right this
instant and before long Arthur’s voice returns from the ether. He is
our third. A new bedmate, crooning to us through a smartphone speaker, reminding us how
to put one foot in front of the other, to swallow a daily pill. We
lie in the generational ravine where his bow strokes now echo and his fingers walk
an eternal ebony plank. But that unexpected trumpet! The brassy surprise swaggers on
and raises the hair on my thighs. It lilts about the
space and my lover pulls me closer, like the tide swelling with the moon.

—Harry Hoy


Harry Hoy is a graduate of Boston College with a background in linguistics and archival work. He currently works as a staffer in his local library system and has poems forthcoming in Barzakh Magazine and 300 Days of Sun.