Beach With Cello by Aliza Abusch-Magder

my hands dance across the ivory keys
finding each note with ease and
no thoughts
no worries
just music

my hands cramp around my pencil
the contour of my fingers bends to the writing utensil as if
struggling to write fast enough to capture all the thoughts and ideas running around my head
around the school
taking notes on all I see and hear
because if I don’t
I fear I’ll forget

my hands tremble without my permission
reminding me that my life is limited edition (only available for a short
in which i have little control
and i am subject to a body that gave up
a body that failed basic biology
earned itself an “F”
leaving me to pick up the slack
leaving my fingers and sides with tiny, almost imperceptible scars

my hands wave wildly around the stage
trying to convince people I am not my age but in fact
the lights are bright and hot and the eyes watching me in the dark have no forgiveness
but i somehow feel safer here than I do walking the halls by myself
with no character to shield me
no music suddenly playing
allowing me to break out into song
i hide onstage

my hands strum the strings of a ukulele
i try practice the songs daily but sometimes I just
“Here Comes the Sun” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” echo through the empty house
all I can see is the music and my fingers
all i can hear is the light strum of strings
stress is forgotten
no thoughts
no worries
just music

Accompanying Photo: “Beach With Cello” by Aliza Abusch-Magder
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