Concerto in Fantasia

July 7, 2021 / Ajá Miller

What is reality if not a phantasmagoria of musical compositions? Symphonic strings stretching the fabric of time this way and that.

The staves are first to rope me in and wind me so tightly that I, myself, become the key signature. They think me treble with the clef in my chin and vibrato in my voice. I am the “Rite of Spring.” I am E♭, F♭ polychords.

In this arrangement, jade skies are not so foreign. Neither are two-lipped tulips whose honeyed nectar sheens the petals. I pucker up and lean down to kiss them, but they bite back. C? ♯. I much prefer the company of others.

I revel in the stories told by specters — stories of seafoam wishes and lost dreams. They sing sea shanties with perfect pitch, and I would join them if not for my amusia. I am the right note who exists in the wrong key. Still, we dance together under emerald rains and bask under the light of a holey, Swiss moon.

When the music stops, I am reminded of life far away from here. A grindstone life that urges me to face the music or die trying, dies irae. But I would much rather stay here — in the off key. I am at home in the inharmonic harmony of this world.

And even in the coda, I thrive. ■

by: Aja Miller

layout: Shuer Zhuo & Xandria Hernandez

photographer: Paige Miller

stylists: Nikita Kalyana

hmuas: Grace Gilchriest

models: Roman Sebastian Calderon & Diana Perez

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