Over time,
her mouth became
a string instrument
tightened with the tension
of constraining her words.

Measures between her laughs
and ivory smiles grew longer,
each beat of silence
lingering for just
a note too long.

More often than not,
tired sandpaper lids scrape
against the white expanse
of her eyes, exposing the
red vein strings
hiding beneath;
they turn the half note circles
below into shades
of a minor key.

At night,
her heart thrums to the rhythm
of a staccato symphony:
rising, rising, rising,
as if her conductor brain
commands it -
faster, faster, faster.

Frantic thoughts
create a polyphonic sound
of worry and dejection -
melodic harmonies to the
hasty trills within her
xylophone ribcage

These sounds echo
in the acoustics of her skull
like the clicks
of an

Prompt: “Write about a change you have noticed in your lifetime, but write only about the things that embody or illustrate this change. It might be a change you have noticed in a friendship, in the body of a loved one, in your hometown…” (Pagh 79)