A Liar's Crescendo

Cheryl Suma

You believe
she is fragile and transparent.
You fear if you took her in your arms
she’d crack. Perhaps you’d spill
her glittering shards across the ground and
they’d be crushed under the steps
of nearby souls. This taking would be
too much trouble, so instead you watch as
she limps forward, dragging her broken pieces
behind her. Their spines bind her to the earth
with the hungry mouths of her past.

You do
nothing while choosing to admire
her refusal to surrender. Each determined step
betrays her desire to remember how to rise.
Her momentum is a painful melody, tragic in its denial
or is it ignorance of her plight grown too heavy to carry.
This is how she could make you want to imagine
another more. But you are deaf to her offerings. Instead,
you imagine a different kind of taking.
Her colors will feed your collection, well schemed.

You crave
her warmth, a painful light you cannot resist touching.
When she sings her sorrow you listen, knowing
her truth hides while she shares her fragments with the world.
You stay awhile to feed belief in new possibilities. You tell her
we are just building our crescendo. Music, like healing,
takes time. Room to blossom, so it can breathe its own rhythm.
You lie. The truth is cleaner. Nastier.

You say
each gentle instrument will be consumed until it births
a perfect embrace, revealing a melody that carries forward.
So while your past doesn’t pull like hers, you tell
of shining acceptance. This telling brings the last notes
needed to climax. You offer this last falsehood, then
let the orchestra fade. The violin cries before exiting stage left.
This union’s heartbreak drips an unfair melody across your eyes
until they meet hers, and you decide to soar onward.
Without her.

She is blessed—alone with the symphony, rather than with you.

Issue 16
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