That Song Burns


Music notes etched into my skin… played with strings and things, the melody never ends (Photo by Emma Simmons).


Winter is hot this year,

And I don’t mean the weather

My skin burns around the notes etched

Into my skin, sketched

Under the sleeve of my coat 

Or is it a jacket? Shacket?


It’s there.


The song composed to be played

With piano keys or sweater strings

Harmonicas or bells that ring

Whatever fits the moment or mood

The song of this year, I suppose

A reprise or repose–a rest

A test? Surely not, I wrote the thing

Or I should have


It’s there.


The song is long, or short

If done right with the pauses and breaths

Or played with the voice

That spoke them in the first place

Me? Write it? That’s absurd.

Where would you–oh, did I say that?

It was a lie (I hope)

It burns my skin


It’s there.


It sounds like cats or fire

Or maybe a choir

Screeching across the fiberglass in my lungs

Or holiday songs on a vinyl

Crunching between my teeth with a snap

Yes, winter is hot this year

Because my–the song

The song, etched with sunshine and ant piles

Plays hot and strong

Burning my skin


It’s still there.