Alaina Rose (05 Mar, 2018)

If I Could, I Wood


For too many years,
I rolled my body over
and over and over and over unfinished wood
convinced that my skin
would be the right grade
of sandpaper
to smooth things over–
to make a surface upon
which a lover could place
their mug of morning coffee.
I thought, I thought, I thought
with my calloused fingers
I could rub away every last gash
my tears would lacker the fine grain and I could truly make something last.

But I filled myself with splinters
that I ignored to the point of infection.

Brass is Beautiful


Last night I dreamt I played the saxophone.
I just picked it up and smooth jazz flew out
And I thought, “I knew it. Strings were never for me.
They’re too attached.”
I need Brass. I need to blow out my fire.
I am brash—just like the opening note of a sax solo—
Makes you stop and cock your head to the side
before it slides down your spine, rolls in your chest
honey oozing from every note
with the right amount of sting that makes you feel alive
Oh, invigorating, sweet, coordinated disaster.
I spent years and year pining over
wooden bodies that I would never master
I wish someone would have showed me sooner
that there’s beauty in abrasive
as long as you open and close your valves
in time with the others,
as long as you blow off your steam
and don’t forget to breathe between high notes.
That it’s not always necessary to pick, to strum
to beat to the same drum in order to make music.
That every band needs a horn or
a harmonica’s wind to break the tension of the strings
So that the soul can let loose and flow
And so that we all know, say it with me,
“We are not a cacophony
We are soloists in a stunning symphony
just playing, waiting, aching to join in the harmony.”