[the poetry billboard] - 'Billie Holiday' by Jacqueline Chia
Billie Holiday

Jacqueline Chia

When you breathe


you sip in the air of the silent noise
of an gentle hum that does not cease.

The drumming more persistent with

every flashing memory.

You lie flat on the bass feeling

it tickling your spine           right down to the tail bone

where                                    your buttock cheeks meet.

It does not stop there but digs inward

you       are
running backward towards your mind through           

  your pulsing veins.


clenching your fists will not stop it,

gritting your teeth will not hurt it.
It can run along your skin traveling along                                              

                                                           uneven goosebumps.

All you can do is shut down your mind and wait.

Slowly the distortion will come               shaking your thick skull,

not causing ripples in your brain yet. Not yet.

Each clashing chord is getting softer,
attacking your nerve ends,

making radio signals sound like a melody.
How it happened I do not know because
the distortions gave way to the baseline again,

this time it runs into your bones making you realize



that it was nothing more than an escape from uncertainty.
It was nothing more.
Then the baseline disappears like it was never there before,

leaving you hollow.

Breathing deeply,
you open your eyes and stare-
And I know you cannot cry..