Let’s play piano together.
You begin the melody—two bars.
There are instruments playing checkers in my ears.
We should follow the narrative in red.
Where are the notes on the board?
Skipping staccatos, red, black, red, black.
We leap over each other wishing we could fly.
My fingers are warm but I’m undecided how to begin.
There you go again being so classical and playing chess.

Page 177


E. Ethelbert Miller

Ethelbert Miller is a writer and literary activist who has taught at various universities. He is the author of 12 books of poetry and two memoirs, as well as the editor of three poetic anthologies. He hosts a weekly morning radio show and hosts and produces a TV show. His many honors include induction into the 2015 Washington DC Hall of Fame, the 2016 Association of Writers & Writing Programs George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature, and the 2016 DC Mayor’s Arts Award for Literature. In 2018, he was appointed as an ambassador for the Authors Guild. Miller’s most recent book, If God Invented Baseball (2018), was awarded the 2019 Literary Award for poetry by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. He can be contacted at .

Miho Kinnas

Miho Kinnas is a Japanese poet, writer, and translator. She is on the Art Council of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, where she swims, birdwatches, and operates a community bookstore, An Island Bookshelf. She can be contacted at .

How to Cite This:

Miller, E. E., & Kinnas, M. (2023). Playing piano, checkers, and chess [poem]. Clio’s Psyche, 29(2), 177.

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