I want to learn this song by Megan Merchant

I was reading the journal, One, today and stopped at this poem. It gave me such a thrill,

I had to snatch it for my blog. Hope you like it. And go read the journal. It’s always great: http://one.jacarpress.com/

I want to learn this song—

a man tells me he sang it once, in an elevator shaft—
some people just know where the best
acoustics dwell.

I get weepy when I think of it—all graffiti and damp,
a cringe of piss in the air, the song
like a dried dandelion

blown three stories and the bass notes—maintenance,
a few buildings down, with their jackhammers,
knocking out a hunk

of greenspace where the most human parts of us are
allowed to break—cigarettes pinched
between lips—a conspiracy

to keep us from singing. My god, I want to unpack
and spend at least three weeks between
the strings, have someone

slide their fingers across my skin, and while I’m not
usually fond of being muted, I might
forgive that pressure

holding me steady. I tell him that I’m going to return
as a musician in my next life. If I can
grasp a few chords now,

embody the vibrations. If I can learn to move
between frets with a broken string.
I’ll bruise trying.

I’ll press the emergency button between floors.
I’m a raw nerve and that song is a horsehair
brush, splendid.

Megan Merchant is an editor at The Comstock Review and Pirene’s Fountain. Her latest book, Before the Fevered Snow, will come into the world with Stillhouse Press in April 2020

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