9. The unplayable banjo

For the unplayable banjo hanging safe upon the wall, as silent as the bricks. Its black head sculpted into a pompadour, moussed to stone; the keys like hairpins holding nothing, never tensed. Strings of shiny copper, stiff as necks, singing to the eye but not the ear. The bridge cleverly askew like skeptical eyebrows. Cloudy swirls like prints of ghostly fingers on a silver drum that’s never rattled, never thrilling, never made to shiver at another’s touch, unresponsive to another’s rhythm. The banjo held on no one’s lap, in no one’s arms. Safe and alone upon the wall.