THE MUSIC OF LOSS

I lost the night, the skeleton key to my grandmother’s china cabinet, my shadow at the airfield when the military planes loomed overhead, the turquoise scarf my mother brought me back from Ireland last May, my resolve.

The notebook with all the passwords, the memo from my boss about tomorrow’s emergency meeting, the apricot dinner-plate dahlia tubers I dug up last autumn, my right to stay silent.

I lost my bearings out of the forest at twilight, my focus on the last star before cloud blankets settled in, the ability to stay composed during the police interrogation, my favorite photograph, my posture.

The sienna leather gloves you bought me, my father’s father’s chest of WWII medals, the note on the refrigerator to remind me of _______________ , my trust in the government, my belief in the media, my sleeping bag (the one with the broken zipper anyway).

I forgot the way to the secret cove at the shore, the obsidian rock covered in sea plankton. Where the spear fisherman, cherry-picking the taug taugs that taste like the lobster and crab they eat, scraped up his back on the rocks during high tide—and disappeared.

I lost the crystal earrings from Czechoslovakia, the large amber pendant (with insects stuck inside forever) brought to me from the open market in Krakow. The eyeglasses needed for driving at night, the valerian root that helps me sleep but often causes me to hover above my body, instead. The GPS that was left in the car before the crash, the TV remote on which the seven and nine do not click in, my social security card.

I misplaced the address to the place that was supposed to help me. The spare key to the shed where I didn’t mean to bury my best qualities, the lamp bequeathed by my favorite aunt, my convictions, my definitions of love and enchantment.

I lost my ability to do math. The ability to work in a cubicle of ticking clocks and unhappy workers talking to their estranged spouses at their tiny desks during lunch, consuming processed meat.

Gone, too—my favorite book bag, my mother’s first suitcase for nursing school with her maiden-name initials, my fear of heights, my self-consciousness, the newest set of paintbrushes, my ability to sleep so much.

Finally, I lost all my excuses for not trying harder to transform syllables into transformative music—a salve of some sort, to soothe the others.

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2 Responses to THE MUSIC OF LOSS

  1. Cynthia says:

    You can be very proud of your writing. I am touched by it. Comforted by it. Inspired by it.

    • Krysia Jopek says:

      Thank you so much, Cynthia, for visiting my website and reading my poetry. This comment really made my morning! The fact that you are comforted and inspired by my writing means that I am doing what I’ve set out to do–affect readers on an emotional level and yes, provide some comfort because being human is incredibly difficult and lonely at times as we all are alone with our thoughts and memories so much of the time, locked in our individual, subjective consciousness. I love literature because it offers intimate glimpses into the human condition and how we are all left with our choices, our daily experiences, and the meaning that we create to get through, make sense of it all–keep going with our heads above water often during high tide. I thank you again–you might not realize how much your comment makes me happy! –Krysia

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