I echo through night to ensure sound still works.
I tape my mouth silent.
I close my eyes to reveal scary movies in my eyelids.
I hear creaking in the house.
I shake my bed to justify it.
This thick blue shawl feels warm over my body.
It gets hotter as the night progresses.
Salty, sticky saliva my herbal tea of necessity.
I can peek my head out from behind the covers,
but that’s a liability because if a tree comes crashing
through the roof then extra padding might save me.
Consider it the imaginary basement
of my invincible Alamo.
The bathroom is far away.
I cannot run the death race
I am too young to drive
One thought on my mind:
the Daytona 500 races through my mind
each lap more repetitive than the last
until eventually I close my eyes
and birds chirp melodiously with the
sound of a church’s morning bell
Here lies a crystalline lake
more blue than diamonds
reflecting serene sky
A cloud appears from nowhere
mostly white, tints of yellow.
It’s an azure-eyed mellow, old
King Zeus smiling atop his throne,
gold-plated lightning bolt in hand.
Oak trees on the side
for elk grazing along a plain.
Golden field bursting
with honeydew and wildflowers
redolent of Autumn pine.
A white vessel of pity falls
like a piano from the forlorn sky,
patiently waiting for someone gentle
to come play Beethoven
along its dual-layered fringe.
These keys are worn.
So many beautiful sonatas played.
Perhaps a song can be played
in a key of your own?
A dear friend, young in flesh,
whispers in my ear:
“Go play. Go play.
This is your piano.
People want to listen.
People want peace,
peers want to be pleased.
Pray that they won’t be pissed.
Play this piano purposefully.”
Peace, relief, silence.
Without being conscious of the monsters,
the monsters are not there.
(originally published in Central American Literary Review, Spring 2017)