after Evie Shockley

by Hyunjin Cheo

sometimes i miss her, the dreamer
          with the wooden kiss on her neck,
relentless, unapologetic, the
          calluses on her fingertips
that went tap, tap, tap

          against the world. i miss
the way she walked, leaned to the side
          so that the violin wouldn't hit
her knee. right, left, right, left,
          always beating to two-four

but humming to Sibelius
          under her breath. i miss her
long hair, the way she threw it
          back over her shoulder and
lifted her chin, the way the

          violin rested on her collar
like a bird in a nest;
          the albatross that always
finds its way home. all
          so natural, hours and hours

a day, the way she sang with
          the bow, the way she sang
without words, the way it all
          used to bring her joy.
but i am not that dreamer

          anymore. she is gone,
long gone, she was gone
          since she held her breath
so that she wouldn't scream
          while he went in, out, in, out,

always beating to two-four.

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