Coda by Yusef Komunyakaa dedicated to Charlie Parker
Charlie, there’s always another story
& this morning I’m searching again
for that photo of you & Einstein
horsing around for the Rolleiflex.
Or, maybe you’re only living
in New Hope with Chan, & on the bus
reading The New York Times,
heading to a gig in the Big Apple.
Or the Charlie in this story is Chaplin
clowning for the camera with Albert.
Or, maybe, I’ll search on the web
to see if I can buy a glimpse
of you from the other side,
while “Relaxin’ At Camarillo—Take C”
fills the room. That damn photograph
is still bugging me. He’s on his violin
& you’re on alto. Kansas City Lightning,
man, I think you already know Monk
& Baroness Pannonica are gone, too.
They took the plaque off the house
on the corner where you used to live
across from Tompkins Square Park,
but you’re still the most famous
guy on the street around here.