"Something Dark Like Jazz" by Amy Sprague
He is the bass stripped down to a dark rhythm that hums to the backdrop of city lights and black and white urban streets and alleys, somewhere foreign to me that I want to get lost in. My thoughts around him read like the first time I fell in love with banned books and Henry Miller lovingly wrote “cunt.” I want to turn his pages. I want to read the forbidden words he paints in red. A steady and heavy cello across absurd piano strokes crash into everything I’ve judged myself on, every law I am governed by and I am intoxicated by the strangeness, drunk on this existential, loveless affair, this music. There is something cold in his quiet demeanor, something almost cruel, a hidden beat to his body, to his sex, a muted aggression beneath a tie. I imagine his eyes ignoring his surroundings, lost in thoughts on maybe statistics, maybe sex, maybe the structure of all things black and white, applying logic and reason and theory to the strange design of women. Or maybe he is seeing only scale and the black dots of notes and wanting only an outlet for himself, and maybe I am making this all up because I am looking for it too—somewhere to release it, to choke out my tired morals, or at least to have a corner where I don’t have to hide.
*previously published in word riot