Sunday Stories: “Lily, from the Society for Absolute Music”


Lily, from the Society for Absolute Music
by Rebecca Givens Rolland

“Have you committed a crime?” the other women ask, in early morning, as we sit around in the sand on Watergate Bay and wash our long dark skirts. “Can you juggle? Do tricks like the sparrows overhead?” No, I say, trying not to laugh. That I cannot. But I can sing. I can replicate songs a thousand-fold, never tiring. Rocking, heading shoreward, I bring words out like wafers on my lips. I won’t call it Communion if you won’t. Belief sinks in me like blood into a screen.

“All that’s well and good,” they say, “but what about eating? About remaining alive.”

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