The wave cried, the wind cried, Marry me my love, my little darkness. I found myself a fragment of your shattered mirror. It slipped like silk between my fingers. Now it is life that leaks. The wave sang and you played guitar. I warbled backup vocals while pounding on the drums. You see? you seemed to exhale. It’s funny that a breeze should learn to speak, and not only with eloquence, but vernacular, funny that a wind should know the time. You might have explained, there is no music. All you hear is the wind. And you sat on your bedroom floor, playing your mind like a clarinet, or better yet a phonograph, somersault upon somersault past alleyways and down the back stairs you saw a shadow, a slow wisp of darkness, crooning every lullaby you could remember. You swore the sound leaked from the crack of every door. You asked me, can you carry a tune, my little light? and I didn’t know what to say. It was always you who were queen of words. You used to order them forward; they built barricades and towers, performed direct assaults and flanking formations. And while you spoke, I only heard the violin, out of tune, with a somber string gone awry. I asked you if words could hurt, and you said, not anymore. This room is my darkness and my music, my word and my light. It is the center of nothing, and so it belongs to you. Who would want to think that just a word could be a darkness, that just a song could be a mirror fragment? When it slipped, it cut my finger, and even through my blood, I knew the outline of your face in the glass.
—Noah Leventhal is a recent graduate of the classics program at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has been published in Rogue Agent, Burningword Literary Journal, and The Scarlet Leaf Review. He participated in the summer poetry program at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in 2016 and the summer poetry program at the Kenyon Review in the summer of 2017. Noah spends much of his time reading. In his mind, the best writers are also the best readers, not only of poems, essays or fiction, but of their audience. Great writing is a conversation.