Sound Paradox -- Michelle Murphy

Layers that crack of turpentine, oil and sable, pigment scraped and all that leaks out of beauty's frame, unfold your body of our anger. Parade like martial music through these rooms. Whoever wins the round is the opera's victor. Today I get to be the diva; tomorrow we'll make use of overtures, rondos. There's music in the dishes swirling through the air; paint in the silence of our bodies spooning. Admire the signature, the intimacy of letters.

Sometimes the phone rings late at night and voices slip unknowingly between the flannel sheets, nesting there to be dreamed later. You wake at three singing a cadenza and I fall jealous, thorned by my lack of melody.

A whole life might be abbreviated by a satellite dish pointed away from earth, a man might fall in love with math and spend his whole life watching numbers fling themselves across the trees. Our desire might continue absorbing territories, encircling words, changing the color of our kiss.

Give me a concubine who will occupy my privacy on tiptoe. There's a wound formed along very different lines that merges words, compounding the pain. Determined to hold on through the cumbersome creatures throwing rocks in our heads are hostages of this practiced error.

Love's strange cough, its shudder declaring two senses for culmination yet only one for getting close. Violin hands give me the fine dust of your wood, sound shavings, the piano's dank reply. Fasten the false and faithful to the same cello; let's see who inhabits the note, sustaining the fable that was never completely ours to begin with.

I wear fingerless gloves to keep my hands moving like moth wings across the largo, to make the composer of the dirge come out of hiding, hold the brush between his teeth and let its strain, performed in intervals and without intermission, tend me. Paint is timbre is chromatic is phrase.

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