It was not a skill; you didn’t “build worlds” – you were not an artful architect,
Nor was music your tool, but rather the catalyst for a strange lycanthropy,
Turning quiet introspection into manic isolation. You’d be haunted by rhymes,
Rythyms and chords reverberating deafeningly inside your skull, phantom acoustics
That sent you running for your room, armed only with a guitar and a pack of cigarettes,
And only when you emerged, often days later, with blistered fingers and broken nails
Would you speak of it, as though it happened to someone else. But you got it nailed;
Whatever you were going for, whatever sound or sentiment, there it was — the architecture,
Ornate or spartan, was sturdy; the structure sound; the aesthetic lovely. Yet you, you reeked of cigarettes
And sour sweat, your hair unwashed and wild. My feral girl, I called you; my wildling, my lycanthrope;
You’d shower and I’d brush your hair as you strummed gently on your old Fender acoustic,
As though something strange and wonderful hadn’t just happened. You’d trip random rhymes,
Free-style stream-of-conciousness verses, creating annotated indexes of synonyms and rhymes
And turns of phrase the way that normal people wrote grocery lists. You would laugh as I trailed my nails
Down your back, begging you to sing to me, to invade my senses — your touch, your taste, your sweet acoustics.
You’d hum into the crook my neck, smiling; I am an amusement, a novelty, an adoring fan architecting
A stage on which you could live your life. When you played, I found myself gripped with the same lycanthropy,
Imagining your fingers strumming on my vertebrae, your perfect mouth wrapped around me like your cigarettes,
Leaving lipstick traces on my skin; “You put me on a pedestal,” you’d say, voice rough from song and cigarettes,
“And my balance ain’t so hot.” Of course I know you’re not perfect, but you are mine; rhythm and rhymes,
Snapped guitar strings, fever dreams and bleeding fingers, scratched out song lyrics and a lycanthropic,
Mad devotion to the music in your mind, the pounding in your veins, and the itch beneath your finger nails.
Those nights when I am awoken by the thumping reverb of your guitar, the vibratto rattling the very architecture,
I can read your needs the way a mother can interpret her child’s cry from their unique acoustics —
A howl of rage, a wail of sorrow. Those nights, your fingers would bleed on the steel-stringed acoustic,
And you found solace in the physical pain, in the ear-splitting cacophany and the sulfur sting of cigarettes,
The way your throat burned as you sucked smoke into your song-scarred lungs. You were not an architect,
No, but you were a creator of something, of so many, many somethings, things powerful beyond rhythm or rhyme —
You created a prison for yourself, and an escape; a sickness and a medication; a stability and a lycanthropy;
You created yourself, so intricately and so contradictorily. I put you on a pedestal, perhaps, but you nail
Yourself to the cross, sacrifice yourself to the altar of your art, and bleed yourself, tooth and nail,
A martyr as any other — so why should you be surprised to find a worshiper? Your hymns are soothing acoustics,
heartfelt odes, raging symphonics — praise be, my own Holy Trinity, The Artist, The Romantic, and the Lycanthrope.
I have had enough of deities with claims to infallibility; I will take you, my feral girl, smelling of sweat and cigarettes,
And your music over the promises of any God; for you have held my hand, you have played for me, sung me nursery rhymes
When I was sick, and you, without doubt, have loved me. You deserve a cathedral, and I will be your happy architect.
Each resonant chord is a nail in the catherdal I have built; architecture founded on rhythm and rhyme,
On passion and madness and lycanthropy. I have graced you with befitting acoustics, so every note
Is a whispered prayer; every word, an oath; every snuffed out cigarette, a votive in your honor.