Secret Chord


Amanda Skjeveland

My friend leans close, eyes sparkling and tidy fingers,

slightly puffed with age and weight, melting the cloudy chill

on her wine glass.  When you make love, she says,

Do you ever pretend you’re someone else?

About to say no, I remember last week, how I slipped away

from our master bedroom to that old apartment of yours

with stairs to the roof, the one that kept the moon captive for us

as we sat on camping chairs and I held your guitar,

my fingertips on strings still warm from you,

You leaned in, smiling, to place my fingers, like a child’s

compared to yours, and help them press the strings to the fret.

Your hair, hanging straight and silky, brushed my cheek,

and I couldn’t help but nuzzle my lips to your beard,

course like your hair elsewhere.

This was back when I knew I smelled of sea water rocked by tides,

and my feet, rough from walking shoeless, stamped our rhythm

onto the low sloped ceiling above your bed.  Before our kids and bills,

back when my beauty made you shiver and even your voice

drew from my lips the softest moans.

Yes, I tell my friend, who’s had too much wine,

sometimes I pretend I am someone else.



Author bio:
Amanda Skjeveland’s work is currently in, or will shortly be appearing in, Eclipse, Flutter Poetry Journal, Burst, Literary Mama, Melusine, and Tonopah Review. She lives with her husband and two little boys on the east coast, where she teaches English and edits the literary magazine at a community college.

One thought on “Secret Chord

  1. i loved reading secret chord. i read it 3 times and by the end of the third I was somewhat emotional, as I became the narrator of your poem. Great writing!

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