You know I didn’t wash up on the beach
like some vacant conch shell, emptied out inside
and full of nothing but dead wind. No, no ocean
crackles and snarls inside them, those amplifier ears,
those calcium and protein chests – blow the wind through them
and the music will come. But I am music. I am
wind. My woven witchery has been inside the soul of this island
since time could count and men could be slain
by its clock-hand blades.
What you hear is me
blowing past your own strings, you
wooden woman, accidental symphony,
unvarnished dark diva with a chest of spruce and maple. Your
strings, metal-wound wonders rusted until they are glass,
busted and broken, the needle ends
curling into multiple elevations inside your gut and
sliding into every member of viscera. Heart on a string,
liver ran through by a single musical note, a
misfired William Tell’s arrow.
Like I said, I am wind:
I’ve been walking this island since we began trading hours
for breath. I skip invisible skin
across the waves and bring songs
into the opened ears on this island. They call me
phantom. They call me legend. Some call me
imaginary, and the seers who spot my spirit
among the waves insane. Like you.
Yes, there was a man murdered here, and
you will never be rid of his shadow. Turn your ears
away from me, scream and sob all you
want: it won’t make any difference. The
hearing is a strange gift: a weight heaved onto your chest,
making the music dull and dim in your throat. Curse me
all you like – it doesn’t matter. You know
that I’m right.
© 2010 Nicole Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.
This poem was written for Writer’s Island Prompt #4: Imaginary Friend. I wrote this to continue the story from last week’s poem, “The Key”. This is in the voice of a spirit who has been on the island for a very long time, addressed to the woman who was speaking in last week’s poem. I hope you enjoyed it.