rhythm is a funny word.
try to spell it right the first time from scratch.
i’m almost sure you can’t.
like life, you gotta go back.
sound it out.
trace your finger along the letters.  rearrange.

sometimes you gotta sound it out.
check an outside source.
the book often left on the shelf, with the sturdy spine.
the one in need of dusting.

life, like rhythm, has a certain beat.
you breathe in and out.
the air gets trapped in your lungs, or
you exhale deeply.

it’s good when rhythms change
and you feel out a new beat
tap your toes.  sing in another key.

i’m feeling that rhythm out.
even as we speak.
trying to sound out words with too many vowels.
consonants where you don’t expect them to be.
arrange my words right
in a way that is pleasing to my ear
and the other ears that happen to be listening.

some notes are just right.
and i’m hoping to increase my range.
harmonize by dropping some notes a third.
bumping others up an octave or two.

when i learned to play the piano i studied clefs and theory.
was taught how to locate the dots on the page
placed in or between thin black lines
translate those notes to ivory and ebony keys
curl my fingers just right.

it’s not only a trope when i say i wanna learn
to play by ear.
get lost in the music.
play the notes that aren’t already written
the ones someone else put on the page.
the ones deep inside.

my eyes are closed and i’m