VibrationsLike the big mug in the
Window of Gene's Tavern,
The sky is neon blue.
The sign flashes on and off and
Buzzes like a
Thousand sleepy bees.
I close my eyes.
The sky buzzes, too.
It is softer than the sound of the blue mug,
But I feel the tingle as it travels
Through my skin and touches my bones.
The sun burns through my eyelids.
Different from the sky,
The yellow-white sun hums.
Like the far-off vibration of the keys on
Grandma's piano after the music is gone.
The hum becomes a sizzle that creeps into my eyes
And shows to me the tiny veins beneath
My eyelids, like a red, road map.
Grass vibrations are louder than those of
The sun and sky.
They tickle my legs and my arms.
When I move, the little green blades
Try to stand up again.
They sound like crumpled
Cellophane when it begins to reopen.
I like grass.
I open my eyes.
The sky is so deep and so blue that I am dizzy.
I must squint for a moment. I keep my eyes open
And watch the spiraling depths spin above me.
Maybe the sky will get so heavy and so blue
That it will fall and destroy all the other
Sounds. I don't care, but I
Would miss the vibrations of
All the little things that live
In the earth beneath me.
My eyes close.
I hear better behind closed eyelids.
I feel vibrations below the grass.
Ants, worms, beetles, tumblebugs, and moles
Don't care that I am lying on their roof.
I wish I could burrow under the green sod and
Live in the damp, sweet-smelling earth. Then the
Upper noises would be soft, and the vibrations
Would barely hum, just enough that
I would feel them.
"She's my kid, too!"
I close my eyes tighter.
I try to sink deeper into the grass,
Try to make myself small enough that
The grass will be taller than I am. Then
No one could find me. Daddy's voice is loud and angry.
His anger travels all the way from his mouth to his feet,
And the vibrations seep into the ground. They rush
Below the surface, into the sweet, moist dirt.
I feel the prickles, like points of hot needles,
Where they touch my skin. Unlike the
Pleasant hum and sizzle of the sky
And the sun and the grass and the
Good things that cushion me,
Daddy's sounds are
Ugly and dark.
"Oh, yeah? What if she isn't?"
Mommy screams at Daddy.
Her shrill voice sends jagged red streaks
Into the electric blue of the sky. Sharp pieces
Break away and disappear into the endless abyss of indigo.
I am one with the sweet grass and all the
Little squiggly things that move below me. If I can
Melt a little more, I might dissolve right into
The damp darkness, where no one could
See me; and the noise will be so
Muffled that it would no longer matter.
A car door slams.
Vibrations reverberate through the air
And fan out like ripples in a river. Through
My closed eyelids, I see the sound warps they make,
Shimmering in an angry pattern against the blue sky.
The engine starts. Rage travels from Daddy's foot
Onto the gas pedal. Time after time, he presses it
To the floor of the car; and the soft bed of grass
Beneath me shudders with the sound of the
Racing engine and my daddy's wrath.
"I'll see you in court!"
He yells as he drives away from the curb.
Mommy screams more words at him, but I don't understand them.
They are only vibrations in the air,
Jagged, hurtful barbs that hit me
Like arrows from a bow.
I grow smaller.
I push myself against the grass.
I want to disappear before she can reach me,
Before she can push her ugly, hateful words about
Daddy into my ears. I expect to feel the
Vibrations of her feet coming for me,
But she goes back into the house.
Slowly, the angry vibrations fade,
Until all that is left is the shining,
Hot hum from the sun, and the happy
Sizzle of the sky. Something hovers
Above me. I open my eyes, just a little.
Swaying upon a tiny, pulsing breeze is a yellow butterfly.
I hold my breath.
"Come away with me."
I hear the butterfly's thoughts in the air.
"Come away with me, and I will take you to
A place where there are only sweet sounds and
"Okay," I tell her. "I will go with you."
I become smaller and smaller, until I am
No bigger than a tiny speck of a bug.
Carefully, I climb onto the
Silky butterfly wings.
Together, we move gently upward.
We soar higher into the deep
Azure sky and the shimmering sunlight.
Soon there is nothing but motion and light,
Beautiful vibrations that go on and on and on...