S e p a r a t e  P e a c e

by Arlene Ang

Because I heard the aria
of a single violin
at nightfall in the park,
they made me wrap
cold fingers around a pen
to write -
There is no such thing.

Because I hummed to a musical score
no one could hear
when walking on my own,
they demanded that I
purge my thoughts
in writing a thousand times -
I hear no such music.

Because I was not able
to keep the aria to myself,
they made me form
the letters of my symptoms
on sheets of lined paper -
There is no such music.

Because I had to be silent
in the numbness of my writings;
Because the pen in my hand
began to dictate my thoughts,
the aria no longer came to me.

Because I soon forgot
the strains of a violin,
I was returned to the silence
of the streets.

Because the music ceased to be,
I was once more free.

Because the silence and freedom
were too much,

I no longer am.