when i was maybe 12, i used to do these music competitions
and years later i wonder why my anxiety is so bad.
i remember one year, playing in the driveway with my sister
like the child that i was
and stepping haphazard on a skateboard
and falling down
and breaking my finger
the joke is that i skinned my knees so bad
and the pain there was so sting-y
that i had no idea my finger was broken
until i sat down at the keyboard of this music competition.
all i know is: there are three events in my life that i have no memories of
despite being there at the time
and one of them was that day, at the piano.
my only memory is the very end
when the judge approached me with a tissue box
and i realized i was weeping.
and they shook my hand, squeezing tightly my broken bone
as i sobbed.
i don’t know what the conclusion to draw from this is
even these days i sit down to play piano and i weep
and when they said become an artist
i never realized that i’d one day wake up
with no knowledge of where the artist ends and i begin.