By Michael O'Neill


As you slid your bow across the strings of your new
instrument, I sat watching by the stairs, leaned
against a case you never open. I don’t know

what made me peek out of the crevice. Perhaps

it was the beautiful quartet that resonated
from your sternum or the sight of a new lover
in your arms. The two of you fit together perfectly.

You placing him on your neck and resting your
chin upon his stomach, He, mouthing out your
words and gloating about your c-sharps. It wasn’t

the sight of your fingers all over him, so much as
the song you pulled from his chest that made
me recede back into my case with a whimper. But

even from my blackened silence, I could
still hear the romantic movie playing out
before me. The cat calls and suggestive

winks, the locked glances and subtle touches.

Now, seeing his rosin glistening across your bow,
and your fingerprints sprawled about his neck,
I realize that I was tired of playing

second fiddle.

Michael O'Neill is a fiction and poetry writer residing in Chicago. His work has appeared in Nanoism, WhiskeyPaper, Unbroken Journal, Literary Orphans and the Journal of Microliterature, among others.

© 2015