percussion instruments 

we used to play the song
on our father's face.
mallets plucked from 
the shoulders of dead ash trees.
he laid perfectly still 
until rage turned him
into a pot of coals.
i came from a land of animal skin
& thumbs. from what do you make
your collisions? i dig 
looking for the old legendary well.
the one with amethyst water
& a guardian snake. 
everyone with my blood
has been bitten. a venom of bells.
dipping fingers in water 
to ice skate the rims
of chalices. i wanted
to ring when struck. instead
i just crumpled as a dried flower
so he hit & hit until i was a bell.
soft mallets so as to not shatter
the singer. gentleness is never
wasted. i have been made to feel
it is something only for drummers.
palms on my back. 
spoons dancing like newlyweds.
i don't usually mind.
there's pleasure in hearing
exactly what sound your bones
have been taught to make.
i once fell all the way 
down a mountain. when i stopped
at the bottom the sound echoed.
i heard my knees & my shoulders
& my fingers & my teeth.
everything vibrated for years.
in a quiet room 
all i could hear 
was my own body. my ringing blood.
i told everyone it stopped 
but, really, i still hear it 
every day. i make the sound
of a river reversing direction.
hands clapping in fear.
then, finally, a metal drum 
imitating rain. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.