A Few Short Words

Dense Not Thick




I’m standing with strangers, near enough to one myself but not for the charms in my pocket and graces of fate, watching her play a piano in the street, beaten old upright been community curbed, loose a few boards, some keys, and an octave or three. She lays out a film score near to denouement, full of latter act arpeggiation here played as prelude. As the piece unfurls she pours herself into the sound until she is no longer conscious of how impressive she is, merely the pressure of the keys, the rhythm and its needs. My heart sings.


Immediately, I felt bad for yelling, the sound still sharp in my throat, but I knew once the anger arrived it wouldn’t leave until it was fed. I would have to hurt her, tear out little pieces with my words in the way that only lovers can. It was that or face myself. Later, I would be forced to recount and recoil in disgust, not by her, not by my love and her passive stoicism, but by the showreel of failures I unspool in the night. A too familiar scene, another sizzling nail in the coffin I was building.

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