Off the Shelf
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Life Song

In the key of crunching cartilage,

embedded in a melody of broken hips,

wrapped in a base line of nuts and bolts,

metal syncopated to eruptions

of pain up steep and narrow stairs,

grey and receding memories line

the corridor of this old house.

it and I, we still remember

the creaking of painful harmonies,

storms approaching and penetrating

these walls from the inside out,

we breathe an asthmatic crescendo

in time with the wind and the rain,

in search of the day’s weary dusk,

breaking silence, rusty joints fall

down, clanking like jazz riffs…

listen closely to the baa-buh-bum, baa-buh-bum

of a heart struggling to keep pace with a

life song still alive in soft vertebrae and joints,

eroded, worn, and rhythmically crying out in

slowing echoes to the cacophony of our own mortality.

Sophia Tolliver (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer Emeritus

Ohio State University College of Medicine

Sophia is a member of the Class of 2015 at Ohio State University College of Medicine.