I go about my day

wrapped in respectability,

drowning in duty,

displaying my pleasant smile,

gracefully answering minutiae,

never ruffling the waters,

never stirring the stew.

But after dinner

in the twilight

I play the piano —

Tear off the mask,

rip open the sores,

pick off the scabs.

My heart races.

My veins pulse.

My wings unfurl.

I soar upward

into the night air.

Even the neighborhood dogs are silent

when I play

and birds listen.

The music liberates my soul.

Plaintive melodies melt.

Rippling notes cascade.

Somber chords pound.

Each composer speaks to me:

Grieg and Joplin,

Bach and Beethoven,

Debussy and Chopin..

They voice my loneliness,


stifled desire.

Pouring out my passion

on the keys,

dancing in a silken veil,





I release.

The last chords drift out

into the dusk.

A dog barks.

I go upstairs,

turn into bed,

wrap myself up

in my cocoon again.