by Amanda Sledz

The stand is designed to clasp two guitars, one on either side. She cradles an Ovation in her arms, a guitar variety our high school friends used to call a soup bowl. In the stand is an acoustic-electric hybrid that I toyed with for ten minutes before my arthritic fingers found their voices and asked, “Why are you doing this to us?” This is not my native tongue.  It's a language she learned from my father; when I listened to him, I only heard noise.


On a piece of paper she's mapping the placement of fingers to lines, six strings, four fingers, my thumb beside itself. A song comes alive at her hands, hands smaller than mine that can nevertheless stretch and reach G. I'm digging for a memory, but this isn't touching an old stone but creating a new one. “Heaven?” I ask, and she nods.


Her acoustic rendition is better; the words have a chance to discover themselves. She pushes Bryan Adams' gravel away and trades it in for glass. I can see right through her. And when she stops, she hands me the map plotting fingers to lines. All I can see are words, and her.