Poetry: Musical Moment No. 2 by Tiffany Hsieh

In “Musical Moment No. 2,” the speaker’s reality turns surreal as they face pressure and judgement under the spotlight: “The/ moment of impact is standing still/ because of you.”


Musical Moment No. 2

A pull-chain lamp with green glass

shade blinks on the makeshift jury’s

desk. The house light dimmed

five seconds ago. Five seconds ago

you were still a good daughter. You

rubbed your baby powdered but sweaty

hands together. Asked yourself if

they were salty or chalky. Your hands,

grilled like teriyaki, like your ma’s,

cold. She has only ever scolded you

about not playing but not about pain

playing up underneath your skin.

You are not wrong about everything

and here comes Bach. The mic hanging

from the ceiling tickles you and turns

you into a deer. You leap out from

the forest like a Broadway artist. The

moment of impact is standing still

because of you. Because you are still

standing. Because you ask yourself

where does the left hand go. Ask

how does it go again.

Tiffany Hsieh

Tiffany Hsieh lives in southern Ontario. Her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review, The Malahat Review, Poet Lore, Room, Salamander, The Shanghai Literary Review, and others. She has been nominated for Best Microfiction, Best Small Fictions, and Best of the Net.

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