Julianna Rossano “Operatics”

As a little girl, music swelled within me.

I never escaped the beat pounding through my heart,

or the lyrics weaving themselves around my head,

pulling tight like a boa constrictor.

I would tap my fingers to the silent beat –

on a desk, window, any flat surface.

And singing was the only reprise I found.

God, I love to sing.

Or, uhm, I used to.


I played the guitar before my fingers could even

wrap their way around it’s slender neck.

Those days ended when my mother asked me to perform on her birthday

and my heartbeat pounded faster than the heavy metal tempo,

and when my brother suggested we do a duet

and my mind flatlined as my muscles forgot the formation of every note.


Eventually, my only audience shrank down

to my bedroom mirror and a showerhead.


Until I met her.

And all the words I had so carefully studied,

that I had tattooed along the inside of eyelids

flew out of my head.

She sounded of her own music,

loud enough to shake the ground with vibrations.

She sang in languages I couldn’t understand,

but her performance left its meaning unequivocal.


She threw me over her shoulder and carried me up on stage,

setting up a spotlight right next to her own,

and shattered my routine of occult performances.

But I didn’t care – If my words could only pass upon a single pair of ears,

I wanted them be hers.

She was the only audience I ever needed, will ever need.


She roused my voice,

so I sang her all the love songs I knew.


-Julianna Rossano

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