Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Lightning crawled into the house
and shorted out the marriage.
We learned to throw our voices
through the radio, scrabbling through the stations
for songs that sounded like what we wanted
each other to feel. Dylan for anguish.
Sabbath for desire. At dinner,
we were always as silent as prayer
until I passed the playlist around.
Madonna for thanks. Tom Jones
for potatoes. The living room
was littered with records we’d left
for each other, mornings of “Starting
Over” or “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”
Only jazz can comprehend a complex heart.
We were daunted by its sophistication
of notes when we slid it on the turntable.
We struggled to find
its melody, its rhythm—anything
to say, Stay. I’ll change.  

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