© 2023 by MCLA Spires. 

Fugue

March 5, 2018

Doctors said she was the owner of problematic post-synaptic endings,
she heard layered noises—birds pecking at tree bark,
and picking up pieces,
of forests to build nests
with—sounds remorselessly penetrating the
sinewy tissue that connects the intimate intricacies of every living thing.

 

She couldn’t remember anything,
except how piano keys felt on nerve endings,
and the relentless motion of contrapuntal composition, and the
potent peppermint bark
her grandfather would bake and nestle
deep in her pockets— the protective napkin wrapper would catch the crumbled pieces

 

like the net she used to catch moments of peace
would collect only delicate things.
She left behind stacks of magazines and trinket-nests
with Easter-basket-past-lives. Casket endings
incomprehensibly echoed in her mind the way violence barks
in a silent room. She was 25 when she first inhaled the

 

fog that covered the
early morning-mountains. It began filling every crevice of her brain with peaceful
cell rebirth. She grew out of a tree branch, splitting the layers of bark.
She took nothing
with her as she wandered, her family worried her dead. Turning her home into a Pantheon, they accepted
her end
while she made nests
on every continent resting
her labyrinthine artery on the
familiar punctus contra punctum structure of The Musical Offering and
she’s been finding comfort in pieces
of music, in the newness of everything
around her. She cracked
her skin a few days back on Candlebury bark,
and had a passing thought. Branches that once nested
a small girl she could hardly remember who got overwhelmed by the dried-out, raisin-nature of things.
She was sure that delicate girl was a woman now, less afraid of the
way bark beetles bite
and the way bees sting—a form of protection—but it kills them. Maybe in adulthood that small girl has found
the missing pieces

 

of herself. Phantom melodies bark and resonate, making nests in the
seams of the atmosphere. She has finally found peace
in the unraveled things that tie together beginnings and endings.

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