Music is

Music is

my mother loading the dishwasher

at 6 a.m. on a Saturday.

It is the running of water,

the trickling of coffee,

warm and brown.

It is the breeze from the window she opens,

which pushes on my

bedroom door.

 

It is Rice Krispies cereal

in ceramic bowls,

that pop on my tongue.

 

Music is

flashes of light,

the static beneath my sheets

that spark and crackle

in the silence,

which prevents me from sleeping

and crawls up my back.

 

It is the owl

which welcomes the summer,

with a hoot,

in the deep green beyond my walls,

making itself seen.

 

Music is

the creaking of footsteps,

too fast for my father’s

and too slow for my mother’s,

down wooden stairs.

It is the pause at the top,

dependency on the banister,

as feet trace

the edge of the carpet.

 

It is the whip of a jump rope

the tracing of chalk,

yellow and pink,

scraped knees

and runny noses

on concrete.

 

Music is

the vibration of the ceiling,

which jingles the chandelier

in the dining room.

Bright bulbs flashing on

picture frames

of family both present

and gone.

 

-Stephanie Montalti

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