7, 6, 5, 4,
She was walking now, stepping 3 steps to the mic, 2 breaths, a sheet of now crumpled paper–1, and no thoughts, zero. Her bangs fell forward, bothering her lashes. She wanted a haircut. She refrained from tossing her head. Not going to be that grrl, the hair flipper. Her hands dropped to her sides and the paper floated to the floor. Her chin found itself and she spoke.
She spit the lines she had written, a psychotic snare cadence with high hat volleys, unintelligible, all rhythm and anger and tuneless rock and roll, original punk. It came from her like gangs roiling before a rumble, the words sounding the way graffiti text looks–unreadable, beautiful.
Her feet spread to hip width and she raised her palms hip high, fingers down. Her forearms flexed and she finished her poem. She felt like she had finished a puzzle, complete and still held one piece in her hand. Silence, a breath.
I heard the rain on the roof now, black penny nails on tin. It must have just started, the rain. She took a step sideways and down to her seat, head bowed, but not meek.
In me, the cynicism that had been rising for a week from
listening to the news
doing the job
quelling the rage
paying the bill
being the ”man”
avoiding the truth
from being eaten alive from the inside and out
all that cynicism that is more poisonous than any conservatism, liberalism, demorepublicanism, more lethal than a bad diagnosis–all that fell away when I saw the slightest corner of her mouth turn to a smile as her bowed head led her back to her chair.