by christian alexis


There was nothing

Because that’s all you leave behind.

Severed strings and severed ties

In all of that silence

And all of those lies

I stare down this old guitar

Meant to make sounds in your absence.

I gave it the old college try

Replacing the rusted, worn-down strings

Thinking a new array of polished metal could revive it

But as I went through the motions It felt as empty as ever with no chance to hide it.

This is, however,

Not new thing with you

This old hunk of wood

This poor attempt at appeasement

Feels not unlike your absence

A hollow token with no reason.

The old mahogany sings

The age and struggle in the grain

The sickly-sweet smell of it,

It invites you to play again

But you see this tool

It demands wisdom and it requires pain

You see, in making music, we find honesty

And that was never your way.

Memories cannot fade when they never existed in the first place

My blessing was your absence

I was spared of that, spared of their fate

Their “always wondering”

Their frustration

Their denial

Their everlasting resignation.

She taught us well

She got us fed

She got us to read

She made us see

What would have been impossible had you been in the way.

And so you left

Using the back door

Not that you’re a coward

Cowardice towers above whatever level you managed to subsist.

But this is not a coward’s instrument

You did not endow it

It was abandoned to the abandoned.

You see, it requires more.

It requires strength.

It requires character.

It requires love.

But how could you understand?

Its aged, lived-in and lived-on surface

The wound copper scratching and punishing my fingertips

Another forgotten thing, you didn’t think was worth it.

But here we are

Strangers to each other

Yet we find a way to strike a chord

A way to make the best of an awkward situation

And there’s little frustration

Out of sight out of mind

Because of you, there’s nothing And that’s all you left behind.

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