Spoken Word Collab / A Music Lesson



It was a Saturday afternoon.

Painter’s sky in tow the clouds poured out their colors like they were an overture

Cataclysmic and bright

What Heaven might look like.


A warm summer breeze draped itself along the worn down pavement

As we made the mistake of—

Saw it as a blessing though—

We were dating.


“Sit down. I got something to show you.”


I couldn’t disobey the authority in his voice.

It frightened me. Spoke through my bones.

His voice was a lure, catching at my ears


Snaking its melody through my brain

He captured my wide eyes with the pads of his hands

Taking care to leave his fingerprints imprinted on my retina


“You’re scared aren’t you?”




A little.


“Then we have to start from square one.

Take my hand.

To start, touch these drums.”


My hands were too tiny to cover the back of your palms

I became entranced by the rhythm of us hitting the drums

It echoed my heartbeat

1, 2, 3, Bara-Ta-TA!

Like congas!

1, 2, 3, Bachata-TA!


He loved me like the echoes of his conga drum

It was the only way he knew how to describe his feelings

But he loved me in a way I could not even begin to decipher


“Your body is a music box, you are a beautiful melody.

Let me show you.

Your turn to play and see.

Let me show you.”


Where did you learn to play like that?

Where did you learn to play ME like that?


“I taught myself how to play the drums.

Playing a drum is like figuring out the melody of a beautiful woman

Let me teach you about a whole new way of life.



Your voice resonated deep.

We were soul children that moved and grooved to the same beat.


“Step 1: Listen. You hear that?”


I didn’t hear anything—

But we played the drums together.

We were beautiful, rhythmic sound together.


“Step 2: Feel it.”


I’m feeling it!


“No not enough, I mean really feel it.”


I’m feeling the edges of my barriers!

I’m feeling myself disintegrate!

I’m falling headfirst into a pool of reverberating clapped palms and ghost notes!

I’m falling too fast.

I’ve fallen for you.


“Step 3: Let the connection drive you. Let loose. Let go.”


I was still hesitant

What if I skip a beat?

What if he laughs if I make a mistake?

What if I do let myself loose control?


“See, I knew you could play—

But you won’t get past this stage until you learn what you want

What do you want? Who are you?

What is your rhythm? How do you sound? Show yourself to me.”


Obliterating my fears, I let go of my embarrassment

Blindfolded the word rejection and went roaring, pounding sound

As the notes became louder

I let my hips move to the tune

I became the rhythm I had built on my own

I spun magic notes and beats he ate off my fingertips

I unraveled at the hands of a music that had lain dormant within my soul


Three years’ worth of symphonies and ballads

We took turns conducting an orchestra of hollowed drums

Rising crescendos soared through our veins

Until our matched tempos split and skittered, off kilter  

We fell over flats and scraped our knees on sharps

We went deaf from the intensity of our own decibels.  


You said “I won’t always be here, but always remember 1, 2, 3”


I said, “I can’t play nursery beats, No 1, 2, 3 anymore

You will never hear my song to completion.”


He taught me how to play

He taught me how to sing

He taught me how to love myself.