A Poor Girl’s Music

In the blackness
A small radius:
My hands
The edge of my pillow
My face
Lit by the glow of my phone

My thumbs quick, but sloppy
Autocorrect failing to predict
What I want to say

I hold the backspace key
Watch the words fall away
One by one
But fast
Like disappearing dominoes
Satisfying

I fumble the phone
Sliding downward
the light leaves my face
Shines on the mattress
On a pile of half-read books on the floor
I catch it by the power cord

My battery doesn’t last these days

I think how I would like
the predictive text option
to write for me
to tell me what I want to say
to empty out my head
Sort the thoughts
like alphabet soup
like Scrabble
Things we used to do
on quiet cold rainy afternoons
when I was young

Have I always ordered life into words?

I tap the center button
again and again
until a sentence forms:
“Oh no no problem I’ll just stop and shop”
I laugh at myself
For trying? For expecting something?

Words are meaningless
without someone to give them meaning

How long
How long must I type this song
This un-song
of tuneless lines across a blank screen
Shapes and symbols
without a melody

My words: my heart and soul
like dry bones
Dredged from a salty sea
Creaking and clacking
A poor girl’s music
for a poor girl’s sleepless night

Me, on one of those sleepless nights!    Copyright: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

I was told He sings over me
But all I hear are dry bones
and the soft padding of thumbs
across a cracked screen protector
Barely louder than the ringing in my ears
It’s getting colder
There are no crickets tonight

Just me
in the soft yellow halo
of a blue-light filtered iPhone
That I should put it down
That I will put down
Any minute now

©️ Nichole Q. Perreault

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