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Songs of the Past

Amanda Meyer


She used to scratch lyrics

into her flesh, afraid she’d forget

them, the way her brain wears

rose-colored glasses when she

tries to remember the past. 

Before that she’d write songs

on the thigh of her jeans 

instead of keeping her eyes

on the road. Now she just

listens to songs on repeat

until she can recite every word,

nail every note, and turns the volume

up for the parts that will hurt

the most, screaming along

until her throat feels 

like sandpaper. Better to give

herself whiplash to music than

to bang her head against the wall,

which she’ll swear she’s never

done, but her poor memory tells

a different story. If she had taken 

notes every time he lost his temper,

maybe she’d remember, but she was

too busy pressing straight edges

into her wrists to write anything 

down. She could have used blood

but she traded razor blades 

for tattoo needles, words and images

in black and white to cover the angry 

red scars she left behind, 

though she can’t quite remember why. 


Playlist song: Anberlin, “Dismantle. Repair.”


Amanda Meyer (formerly Brown) is a copywriter moonlighting as a poet in her hometown of St. Louis. She’s a music lover, violinist, and “elder emo.” Amanda has had poems appear in Querencia Press and Sunday Mornings at the River anthologies.


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