sheet music taught me to speak in small
black script—blots like teardrops and pupils
dripping down to razor blade eyelashes
and dotted lines to mark the incision through
the cream cheek of the page. i crunched my
teeth around whole notes; honeyed hums
hung in the marbles crammed in my mouth:
a lungful of vowels—my first whisper
of language. the taste got tangled up
in my head; an occupation that had me
dunking down in sound to soak it up.
my lips wrapped around legatos, ties to try
and warble through the music until
i slurred like a drunkard, intoxicated with
rhyme and reasonless. strings of sixteenths
trapped my tongue in sticky clicks
of articulation: staccato beating out my brain
and pounding in consonants. key signatures
stuck between my teeth and treble clef left
an aftertaste of sweet words simmering
in the back of my throat winding up to my retinas.
enchanted with accents unfamiliar, i scribbled up
my arms my own music theory in different scales
and trilling letters so I could remember
to fall in love with it all again.