If the young piano tutor can protest
in the fire-flashed streets with two broken ribs
and his friend killed behind him ("Something changed in me. I am no longer afraid.")
I can clean the apartment with a fever.
I scrub the sink then kneel down
on my hands and knees sweeping
from under the bed
dust, plastic wrappers, shreds of linen,
a crumpled sock.
I scrape up the dirt with my hands, sift it
into plastic bags and carry it to the porch
where it is cold, and dark,
and stand inhaling.
And stand aching.
and return to the apartment
where I can do nothing,
where it is warm, and full of comforts,
not the least of them the sound
of a piano playing.