Literary Yard

Search for meaning



By: Kyle Hemmings


music room

At work, her father fights a losing war with paper men. Home, Zin imagines wind scorpion women without musical sense, exoskeletons in the morning, left-overs of love. Some girls are cursed with supernatural powers of hearing. She composes a boy of blue half-notes. Outside her flimsy wardrobe of snapback hats, mini-dresses with illusion stripes, a scatter of old dollar menus, she develops allergies to cacophony, to boys who can’t rhyme for a dime. She supplements her income by being a sexy sibyl to a star-crossed man who lives in the past. Walking alone on cold nights, the clouds are musical compositions by Russian virtuosos, exiled to her brain. Her father brings the day’s casualties home. It is he who is dead. She wonders where the souls of chocolate-covered ants go. Her musical boy hums in her head. She thinks: Live with me forever or I’ll tear up this score. In a recurrent dream, they make love with crooked fingers & white keys. Her father enters the music room wearing an army helmet. He smashes the piano with an ax. Zin wakes up with a stiff spine & cotton mouth. She can barely dress herself. The boy is gone or is he? There is almost a face. In the kitchen, the sound of spoons & knives clang against the sink & table. Together means her, her father & the empty chair reserved for the boy who wants to sing. Together, it will be a jagged melody of hope.


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