The Wish Department

Today I sight-read the last 
Schubert sonata: he wanders between keys: evasive

and elementary, his melodies 
meander. Tipsy Schubert,

if I were to return to 1974 for a piano lesson, 
would my teacher say, “You’ve ruined your life,” 

or would she just say “hello,” 
and with her faraway “hello”

would possibilities cluster around my feet like clouds above the Andes? 
The last time I saw her, I lied: I unfurled

fraudulent plans for a piano future. 
I wish I’d learned a Schubert sonata in college: no,

I can’t cry “wolf” in the wish department, 
I do wish I’d performed the Chopin waltzes

so I can’t bluff and pretend I also wish I’d mastered Schubert — 
but I wish I could imitate Schubert now:

he says what he means, says it again and again, 
shifts to a distant key and disappears.