Back 30 years, when I’d walk for miles across campus to my classes with my head filled with
little kicks, he-men in sun showers, goodbye girls and 2nd floor hotel rooms, flannels for faces, stained notebooks, hearts filled with nails, and black coffee in bed, I felt the calling, and calling, of thoughts and ecstasy and regret joined with trenchant melody.

I’ve wanted to write a poem about how music makes me feel, but know I’d be defeated by any attempt. How can I possibly place nouns and adjectives and verbs in precise lines to express the power the strings of notes and evoked images have over my pulse and respiration? How a song can suddenly fix me in a spot and change everything. How my heart can feel like it is shattering because of how someone intones a list of words or plays a sheet of music. How my horrible day can be transformed in an allegro. I’m buried, still breathing, but in lilacs. I burn. I rend. Exalt. Expire. My skin becomes inadequate to contain all of me and I expand without limit, blur with the person or article next to me. I am tree and grass and ottoman and weeping glass and my best friend and the stranger who is whooping with joy. I shimmer, embody ecstasy. Transcend.

© Julie Ayers
April 2012 – NaPoWriMo 27

Transcendence. Photograph by Julie Ayers


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