Origin Story

Eugenia Leigh

As a child, I prayed for pianos

and the wisdom of Solomon.

I prayed facedown

for the kind of calm that threatens

to halve babies to save them

because I believed

I could contain the world’s demise

with two clasped hands.

When the havoc continued,

I believed it was my fault.

I was an angry child.

A computer program called Miracle

tried to tame the small apocalypse

in my palms. It taught me

to play the keys: the Beatles

in MIDI — synths tinny with hey,

you’ve got to hide your love away.

But when the metronome’s

bomb-tick couldn’t keep

the planet from panic,

I grew to hunt hallelujahs

in the bottoms of bottles

because the music couldn’t

save us.         The last tiny humans

scurried across my lifelines.

I let them dive off my hands.

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