Woody Rudin

When you’re born with the nameImage_accordion
Hakim Matabuki,
you naturally pick up something
in childhood
for self-defense.

Some say he played with sewing kit
buttons because the boys shunned him.
Some say he fell in love
with the four buttons
on his mother’s dress,
that he used to finger
for hours on end.

I knew him when his mother
gifted him with a collection of buttons
and keys on which to play love notes,
his own talisman of sound.

When he pumped the bellows for low notes,
I pictured him gliding through a sunken ship
holding breath for minutes on end.
Soprano notes were high wire aerials,
played in the frequency of rumor
that held my ear for hours.

The boy accordéoniste,
who found that love
could reside within buttons
if you offered them
just the right touch.