Piano and the Baltimore Riots, 2015

He wears sweatpants to play
the piano—place of worship,

place of sweat, place to shed
the soul and give it away

to the sound. We were not meant
to suffer, we were not meant

to kill or to be killed.
How can we bear the loss

of ourselves on this earth?
He will never be lost—

there are pieces of himself
in the chords—they rise

and live on, always,
above us.


Artwork © TJ Edson

Artwork © TJ Edson


Janelle Rainer is a 25-year-old poet, painter, and community college teacher living in Spokane, Washington. Her recent work has appeared in Harpur Palate, Din Magazine, Atticus Review, Revolution John, Emerge Literary Journal, HASH the Mag, POPLORISH, and elsewhere. She earned an MFA in Poetry from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.

TJ Edson is the Art Director of Oddball Magazine and a volunteer at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery. He has also had work appear recently in Boston Compass.