I remember that I used to sing. I would catch a melody in my mind and raise my voice to it. Daring it to come down to me. I pushed it. I rocked it. I dragged it into my throat, often unwilling, and made it dance with me across my tongue. (Don’t even get me started on what my feet could do). I remember that I used to sing. Swish notes around my mouth like sour candies until only the sweet parts were left. Chew on rhythm until it crunched to my liking. Mere breath was once music. I remember that I used to have a song. Something that played in my head on repeat. Regularly lulled me to sleep. Pacified my nightmares of loneliness. My song conjured up flights of fancy. It spoke of past hurts long forgotten and todays that needed no tomorrow to make it through.
I sang for you a song about you.
But I don’t sing anymore. My lungs used for nothing but shallow gulps of air and skin-bare survival. My feet stay rooted now with no beat to move them falling from my mouth. Tongue in cheek. Afraid to move lest it remember that song and fall again. Music frightens me with its familiarity. It screeches into my mind with broken promises and one-sided affections. It mockingly plays love songs about things I’m not sure I ever knew. A taunting sound. And I don’t sing anymore. My mouth stretched on a vibrato that instantly becomes a scream or choked sob. Tongue flexing and rolling through unsung bass lines. Silence.
I remember that I used to sing. But you took the song with you when you left. And now I can’t stand music anymore.