It is the tap-tap-tap of the woodpecker blending with the back-n-forth squeak of the rocking chair.

The cicadas sing (maybe for fun; probably not) and drench the yellow afternoon air.

The little boy in red next door prances around, his bare feet patting the concrete

To a rhythm no one hears but him: the conductor of his own heartbeat.

Over the jeweled grass drifts a laugh like an echo, a decrescendo slowly fading into memory.

And in the boxy house two doors down, nameless fingers draw out a reverberating melody.

Above me and within me and around me swirl colors that my eyes don’t see

But my ears do; they catch the thin purple of the buzzzzz left behind by a lazy bee.

Yellow of an old lady’s knitting needles as they click, and her humming

Contented powder-blue because she knows her grandkids are coming.

Her song is joined by the accented moo of the cows — rusty orange, I think —

And the insects and birds and neighbors and grass and the whispered clink

Of the ivory keys under my fingernails that soothe the jumble in my mind:

The perfect tangle of harmonies I don’t need to look hard to find.

And I breathe in deep and only once the sounds saturate my heart do I let it out.

Because music is the beautiful one thing that I cannot live without.

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