by Meredith MacLeod Davidson

As a solo violist, I rued the overt.
I faked it in performance.
I told my grandmother
(a woman who paid for two
degrees in music education)
I faked it in performance.

Drawing my bow across the strings,
these muses roved so fluently,
and fused the rused route to a seat in the district ensemble;
I ate a cheese stick in rehearsal.

In rehearsal, the result was she called me Phlegm Girl.
I coughed so offensively, frequently; she called me Phlegm Girl,
the director, I mean, and was terribly enraged with me for
years subsequent, though the ambivalence seemed forgiven
at a wedding some years later, surprised I weren’t
a roving artist, but mere finance cog, being never mined,
Phlegm Girl didn’t fake it. Not that overture.

And perhaps that’s why you let yourself
in, ever negligent of the deadbolt to the door
or the lock to my bedroom, true,
and fixedly grasped my lungs like a lyre
and my face vibrated and numbed, around the edges
and lower lip, no- the bridge of the chin,
softened, I felt them there in horrific symmetry

yet resounded with uneven, over drafted breaths.
I felt your trove; this aesthetic possession,
erred –aired!– with twisted plots
arranged in repetitive habit,
and by the rut of undue lust.
When you’ve done with us, wilted, willed, will you
carry these lungs alight? True, I could quantify the last years
in crescendos of culpable cognizance.
It’s a semblance of composition,
though no feat to pester the gods with.
But even you looked back
not dead, but no longer with what you came for,
despite your odyssey, much like one grandmother
who attended a district ensemble showcase
to witness a glorified mime.


Meredith MacLeod Davidson is a poet and writer from Virginia, currently based in Scotland. A graduate of Clemson University with a degree in English, her work has previously been published in the 2 Bridges Review, The Bookends Review, the Eastern Iowa Review, and is forthcoming in the inaugural issue of Arboreal Literary Magazine. Meredith serves as an editor for From Glasgow to Saturn, the literary journal of the University of Glasgow, where she is currently pursuing an MLitt in Creative Writing.

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