Music Box

I could let it die
As the music crawls to deafness
I could let it die
My fingertips, calloused from refrains, hover over the key
It knows my touch so well
Polished by hope and disappointments
I could let it die
Before I can stop myself, I twist the brass
Before I can hate myself, the melody ensnares me

The machinations start their heartache routine
And the tin figure moves down the twisted, turning track
It always begins with a bow towards me
To acknowledge that I’m here?
Or to greet my shame?
It never waits for me to return the gesture
To see how foolish I can be
Instead, the gears of longing work their magic
Sending it down a pristine, familiar road
Its tiny feet dangle helplessly

Which will it take?
The path will soon split into many branches
Like a tree waiting with disillusionment
The melody is sweet
I can almost taste the promises waiting to be broken
About me
About “you”
Click, click, click, click
The tin figure chooses the second one from the left
As always, I see my reflection in the dome

An automaton raises portenteously
As my avatar approaches without a choice
Its branchmates admire the show
With cotton popcorn and waxen tea
This is when they meet, when the branches begin to bud
This is when I fall, when the branches begin to bloom
This is when they kiss, when the blooms begin to rot
This is when tragedy returns, when the rot begins to choke
This is when tragedy remains, when the world begins to fade
The automaton stabs what could be me
And stabs, and stabs, and stabs, and stabs
The heart, the head, repeat, ad nauseum
Blood was spent years ago
What lurches out is a stream of consciousness
Onto pages with penstrokes
The tin figure returns to its home
As I wait for the music to end
But then, it’s all in my mind

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One Response to “Music Box”

  1. I really love the haunting imagery of this – the picture of being trapped in the music box. It reminds me of a song I think you’ll like: https://youtu.be/49tpIMDy9BE (Lindsey Stirling “Shatter Me”)

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