The Same Song
J B Mulligan

In the uncrowded bar, in the midst of delicate flowers of smoke and the faint tinkling of icebells, she will sing her heart into the grubby air, the pain that all of them feel there, that some will briefly recognize in her voice before each looks again at the person he or she is talking to, and tries to remember or sort out what to say next, that one short man will recognize, and speak to her later, and guide her briefly to the large venues, the fingers of the hot lights prying and stroking, the name in large letters, the music praised, until years later, the night before a death in pre-dawn sleep in a small room, she will be back to singing in a small smoky place, as heard and unheard as she has ever been, and the song will be one of those she sang in those olden nights, and in the lights of starfire burning about her, and now in an ember, but with a heart of flame, and the song the same.

First published: May, 2008
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