Originally published in Spark Magazine Issue No. 16
What is reality if not a phantasmagoria of musical compositions? Symphonic strings stretching the fabric of time this way and that.
The staves are first to rope me in and wind me so tightly that I, myself, become the key signature. They think me treble with the clef in my chin and vibrato in my voice. I am the “Rite of Spring.” I am E♭, F♭ polychords.
In this arrangement, jade skies are not so foreign. Neither are two-lipped tulips whose honeyed nectar sheens the petals. I pucker up and lean down to kiss them, but they bite back. C? ♯. I much prefer the company of others.
I revel in the stories told by specters — stories of seafoam wishes and lost dreams. They sing sea shanties with perfect pitch, and I would join them if not for my amusia. I am the right note who exists in the wrong key. Still, we dance together under emerald rains and bask under the light of a holey, Swiss moon.
When the music stops, I am reminded of life far away from here. A grindstone life that urges me to face the music or die trying, dies irae. But I would much rather stay here — in the off key. I am at home in
the inharmonic harmony of this world.
And even in the coda, I thrive. •
Layout Shuer Zhuo, Xandria Hernandez. Photographer Paige Miller. Stylist Nikita Kalyana. HMUA Grace Gilchriest. Models Diana Perez, Roman Sebastian Calderon.