prompt #12: first or last line (where everything is music)



So many of my friends     even my family

want labels. Want each part of me divided

parsed into neatly organised boxes

drawers     shelves    folders    trashcans


My hands should go into that grey box

marked in black letters   worker

My ears should go into a piano bench

tagged with a sticky note   where everything is music


My feet quiescent in an old shoebox

that bears the sticker runner. So many miles.

Nearby a roll of foamcore holds a collage

ravens and foxes and nautilus shells. Yūgen

haunter of woods who has no words for green love.


Into this basket woven by Rwandan women

I squish my ovaries    identified as    breeder

not to be confused with mother, safely stored

between the foxed pages of a thesaurus.


On an adjacent shelf, beside a scarlet chop,

my tattered heart nestles in a bird nest

barely large enough to hold its unnamed pieces.

Its wings are splinted now.


An arm is wrapped in a threadbare infant quilt

a cracked knee beneath a bronze tray

inside a lacquered box a teacup   stained

with tea leaves that knew the future once.


Somewhere among these scraps & shards

a compass might point north, and pieces

heed a lodestone’s call. But perhaps words

are not music, and pieces never make a whole.


But possibly… music is the skeleton of language

and song lives within each name. I sing myself,

gestalt of broken pottery, torn pages, lost ribbon.

I sing myself.

14 thoughts on “prompt #12: first or last line (where everything is music)

  1. Truly fabulous. So glad to find you again (we exchanged comments last year). This is such a creative and original – and utterly unique, given how many truly you-specific details are woven in. Generally I like to repeat a couple of lines that really stood out to me. In this case I might simply be repeating the entire thing … Thank you so much.

  2. Wow! How to take a line and make it your own! I love this piece – so many lines that surprise or twist with meaning – giving us new sight! From: ‘My feet quiescent in an old shoebox that bears the sticker runner’… beautiful in its simplicity, to ‘its wings are splinted now’, about your heart. How the pieces of you, so poetically make the whole! Thank you for sharing!

    1. I am so happy other folks relate to this. It always makes me sad when we limit people with labels, and I feel better, now that I ‘wrote it out’… Don’t we always? 😘

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