New Melody

I was going to be an echo touching
every neglected corner of the room,
each space where the ceiling meets the floor.
I had every intention of sitting on rooftops
in the glow of fireworks for all my days,
the shingles leaving indents on my legs.
I bought a short black dress, thinking I’d wear it
to someplace fancier than I’ve ever been,
a cavernous hall with lights that burned
like the sun.

Instead, I’ve whittled my life down
to a fragment—a library reduced
to a stack that fits in two hands,
a household small enough to fit
in a four-door sedan. It’s just us now
and our suitcases and a golden dog
and all the remembering that fits in the trunk.

But maybe one day we’ll have three floors
and echoes and bookshelves. Maybe other voices
will add to the noise, and maybe
their shouts will rise where mine falter,
a song you can’t blot out.