Jazz You’ll Never Know
by Margaret Hasse
Alex dresses up in a sweet black suit
for his Central High senior picture
holding his trumpet as if
he will raise it
like a silver night-blooming moonflower
to play “Sweet Georgia Brown” or “Almost Blue.”
Alex has sat in on jazz gigs in New Orleans,
San Francisco, D.C.
and Saint Paul.
He attends summer jazz camps, jazz competitions,
listens to Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra records.
He once ate ice cream
ate an apple
hopes there’ll be a car
wears a cologne with notes
of jazzy fragrance from a blue bottle.
When he shakes his silver ID bracelet
his own name flashes on one side,
Louis Armstrong on the other.
Alex, I ask, what is it with you and jazz?
If you have to ask, Mom, he says, quoting his hero,
you’ll never know.