Small Towns With Big Voices


Small towns with big voices

No wandering sheet music can be found here

I have no reason to search for it, I haven’t heard a stray tune

The chorus has its prose, and its stories, and I hear them and feel nothing

Their songs aren’t for me, but there is nothing else, and that is alright

Chords being written, a damnation, a warning, a blanket I pull around myself at night

Theirs is a universe that is beyond my understanding, a song with no translation

But this is fine, I am not their devil, their curse, whispered in pews and desks all in rows


I find myself on an island in the middle of a field


Five girls surrounded by water, one sings like the small town and it’s pretty enough

We pay it no mind, two girls giggling, another playing for laughs

I am in wonder, there is a line I can feel but can’t explain

The clouds touch, mingle for a second, and blush with the sun

Quick kisses that mean nothing, the pitch strange, but no one else hears the dissonance

It is not a mockingbird that observes five girls in their adolescence, secrets slowly forming in their wild eyes

I instead hear the song of some lost bird that shouldn’t live here

It falls to the water and I can do nothing but watch, confused at the fluttering

The disturbed water reflects our small bodies, dull and murky, a mosquito by my ear buzzes, hums

It bides time as the storm rolls through, standing water and mosquito eggs


Short lived, the life of bugs, sucking me dry as I watch the stars turn

Toes in the grass with Virgo, Astraea, Diké, wheat and lavender, overhead

She watches over me although I never realize it, my own universe taking shape in her arms

The pond is drying up as summer graces us with her presence, the sun hanging heavy in the late morning.

The sun: a rueful goddess, hydrogen, fusion, brown eyes and a smile

Even a small town with big voices can’t keep it at bay from its relentless mission, 8 minutes and counting.


I study my pointe shoes, tying the ribbons tight against the sun, afraid to look too close

It dips near the horizon, a violent goodbye as the sky flashes green

But I am child, a song hanging in the air, the edges of sunlight stinging my eyes

And I have to look, I have to see, I have to for once in my life listen

Brown eyes and a smile and a dead bird in the bottom of a pond

The devil, damnation, a monster hiding under your bed in the night

She sings this same tune, I know, her voice only one of many in a small town with big voices

But children dare to look at the sun, listen to what they shouldn’t hear

And I am a child again, reborn with the stars, a bird lying on the baked mud of the pond


I take a breath as my eyes open

And I fall into myself


Space and time fold together and I absorb everything for the first time, too fast, not fast enough

A singularity, creating a new galaxy in the middle of pirouettes and I lose my breath

New notes take shape in the absence of air, the hum of background radiation cooled to three degrees Kelvin

It keeps time with my heart, a new sensation, I want to take her in my arms and waltz

But I don’t dare reach out, we were never meant to touch the sun, feathers singed and melting

And I burn with a sweetness to fuel me for the next ten thousand years


I dare one final look before I leave with the stars, the bird safe in the palm of my hand for once in my life

The sun warms my shoulders, never knowing what she has done for me

I write new music out of her voice, lungs full of humid air, and I sing out of tune with the chorus

Diké carries my voice to the birds in the rural valleys and the old hills of my youth

And I hope they will hear me and a new universe will be borne out of a girl too foolish to shield her eyes from a smile

My sweet summer sun, dreamt of and drowned, she shines a light on what I am and have always ached to be


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741