Muse


She sings the reed like the wind sings the trees. Hollow thing, all holes and breath. All fingers, all push and release. The wind, a living thing bent on being inside; the song, needing only to be occupied. In the trees, birds shrug their feathered shoulders and peck the air. She sings the reed to life, and then the taut skin stretched against the bark. And then the skinned skinny strings, tangled guts of eaten things brought back to life. On nights when the light swells above, she gathers and scatters her singing things, each part made wiser by the fingers and mouths and breath of the dozen souls that circle beneath their circle above. They mirror the moon, echo the hooting owl, compete with the clamor of frogs, forget the glottal murmurs of the mammals in their dens, shifting and signaling for warmth.

Years pass, drop by drop. Millennia fall away in a great, wet rush.

In a studio high above the ground, miles from where the moss grows thickly and the animals cry out in blackest night, she whispers in your ear. You listen in the absolute silence, your egg carton walls, obedient dials blinking green and yellow. Wires and the warm hum of electric things, strings of small lights shining bleakly on the instrument in your hands. There, she says. Just outside the blackout curtain, beyond the reach of the city’s phosphorescent bleed, the moon blows out its unanswered song. Breathe, she says. Sing.  

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