by Bryce Milligan
I’ve seen mezzo sopranos shatter glass
and wondered how this high A–flat that sings
— an octave above my guitar’s last fret —
constantly in my ears can fail to crack
the fragile bones that wrap my inner ear
so seared by sopranos who shatter glass
with a note that weeps just beyond the reach
of fingers, wire and wood but still can’t touch
that octave above my guitar’s last fret —
that tone that fills with a fierce white fire
the longed–for silence I seek in sleep.
Some demon soprano shatters glass
inside the hollow round of my skull,
scattering thoughts like Ezekiel’s bones.
An octave above my guitar’s last fret
there hangs a note so high, so pure that no
Orpheus can sing and only death stills,
razor–edged shards that slaughter hope and sleep
an octave above my guitar’s last fret.