The violins sang softly then. I was there -

standing quietly at a corner of the ballroom.

The marble of the wall was cold

against my back, while the warmth

of my hand seeped into the wine

through the fragile glass

in my tentative grasp. I watched

as you moved across the floor.

Impassively, my eyes followed you

as you flitted between partners

from one to another; you were carefree

like a butterfly.


I can no longer remember

why you paused at length and turned

your eyes upon me. I cannot recall

when the bitter wine ran out

where the empty glass crashed against the marble

and how I ended up caged within your arms.

Frantic, the violins sang louder.


Of all the things it could, my memory

chose to retain your grace: how easily

you and I seemed to glide as though on air.

The hand freed of the cold glass

found comfort on your shoulder. The other

was trapped within your own.

I remember how the soft light

kissed the skin of your face, how a smile

teased a corner of your silent lips

upward. My gaze was nailed onto

your soulful eyes, as we danced to that

symphony echoing from far away.

But I didn't notice

the broken glass on the floor until

it slashed my ankle, and the blood

began to flow.


The violins faltered with quivering notes

suddenly off-key. I tore myself away

from you and ran, hurting with every step.

You called after me, and I paid no heed.

I blocked out the sound of your voice, refused

to turn back, to catch even a last

glimpse of your eyes that had captivated me so.


Now the season has changed since then.

The leaves are young and green

once more. I have long since forgotten

that taste of wine. And I hear, sadly

that you have stopped dancing as well.

Perhaps, we should have both

seen it coming, how our dance together was over

before it had even begun.

And although there are nights I still

dream of their song…

the violins – they have long since

been silenced. And they

might never sing again.