Preface to a love song

I can’t take all the credit for this one. There was really a man, and he really did tell me this story. 


Drunk on crimes of passion, and the particular thin pain of

saying only half the words we want to sing in peculiar songs with no form,

he told me a story about his guitar


“There are two things that are special about this guitar, its insides, and its outsides.


Over 21 years, the magnets inside the guitar that create the sound from the strings have become less sensitive. However it only makes the overall tone softer, and unique, and interesting.
On the outside, its body is worn. But the overall shape remains the same.


It has chips, and scratches, and dints from bad things that have happened to it along the way, and chips, and scratches, and dints from good things that have happened to it along the way.


But no-one ever comments on the dead magnets, or the chips in the paint from when it fell over, or the big deep scratch that happened at that great show in Wellington or the broken part of the string bridge, or the missing screw on one of the switches.


They only ever comment on how amazing it is.”


And as you tell this story, I wonder if maybe

you’ve seen that my insides and my outsides are scratched and broken and missing screws, and you know that no one else sees those things, they just use

hands made of sly eyes and weary compliments, which you don’t, because

it’s late and you’re not really here and you know I’ll only sigh

in a way you find soft, and unique, and interesting


but maybe, if you are gentle,

you’ll hold me, one day, like your guitar, and

we’ll prove that the magnets

aren’t dead

and we’ll write a love song

about how amazing it all is.

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