I think I can remember
The first day my heart turned gold.
Eight years old, at the kitchen door
In my mother's house in Detroit.
A shard of the sun had shattered
Into every hue of the rainbow.
And, try as I might,
I failed to cup it in my tiny hands.
The particles of dust danced in the air,
And suddenly, each breath I drew
Began to pull the world into sharper focus.
But years have passed sharply now,
And the golden brilliance in my heart
Guttered and went out for a while,
When every line I wrote failed to ensnare the world.
The more I shut myself away,
Filling my mind with tales of serial killers
And loves runaway,
The quieter my voice grew,
And the softer my eyes and hands became.
Until I'm squinting at miniscule text on a page,
The lines marching cleanly up and down,
And I find myself trapped, locked away
Among the books, boxes, and bags
Of a loft apartment in New York,
An exotic bungalow of isolation of my own design.
Suddenly, the sunlit music that has pooled in my soul
Bursts forth, gushing after decades suppressed.
With each cymbal flourish that I craft,
With every caress of the banjo and horn,
The breath in my chests expands once more.
My mind blossoms to encompass the universe
As easily as the yellow sun had swallowed me at the age of eight.
I'm self-conscious of my voice,
So subdued from many years of disuse.
So the anthems must remain voiceless
Until every character, fictional and factual,
Begs for their story to be told.
It is then the golden rays that had danced on my kitchen door
Flood past my lips and stagger like gentle newborns
Into a brave new world.