1: a rhythmic sequence or flow of sounds (as in language)
2 : a musical chord sequence moving to a harmonic close or point of rest
3: the modulated and rhythmic recurrence of a sound especially in nature
: Morning in Connecticut. My body sticks to the sheets of august: eleven or twelve years old, half awake, eyes crusted shut, the sound of a box fan on medium speed sucking the last remnants of cool night air into my stifling bedroom, and there is a bird repeating the same call like a broken record. The CADENCE of the sound imprints an image into my half-awake brain, the melody becomes an reflection of itself, a pattern. I watch the notes move on the backs of my eyelids as the bird sings the tune over and over. Sometimes it gets stuck in my head and returns later in the day—an arm's stretch away from the past. I play the tune on my teeth, the bony keys of a piano lining my mouth. I feel the shape of their pattern with the movements of my jaw—movements so minuscule I know the world will not notice; it will keep rotating, bustling, changing, as though I were doing nothing at all. I've never seen the bird. I've never even looked. I feel as though it doesn't exist, as though the sound comes from nature itself than from a living and breathing creature. It is the soundtrack to my wakefulness, miraculously there for me to notice and envelop and repeat. I think no one else notices the bird. Or hears. Or listens. I do not think I will be writing about the bird twenty years later
on the fourth of July
in a friend's bedroom while visiting home from the opposite coast. There is no way this thought could have occurred. I am so far from that moment, from that place, that past, that bird. And yet the past is always right in front of me (speaking words of wisdom?), perhaps just another arm's stretch, no further away than the morning from the afternoon or the bird from my bedroom window or home from anywhere else.