heirloom by christian alexis olmeda 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, 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 Even cowardice requires more. 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 and lived-in, 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.