Psychopomp Magazine Fall 2014 - Page 41

Adam McAlpine Clark | 41

always obvious, how could there not be all of them and their cigarettes smoking the place and in that general hum rumbling?

I got this feeling between where I’m thinking and my lips, when I’m here and I can feel myself going after something, something I might almost have heard before.

I’m blowing it out and it's moving through these corners and stops and I can feel like there is something around some corner, like if I keep chasing it I might start playing it—and I think I can hear Clay back there in the audience—hold that bass . . . steady . . . curling—It's lost under the rolls of the crowd shifting in seats. And that sound I was almost maybe catching up to starts going out and my fingers press down and the sounds are all mismatched and it seems like I've forgotten to play and that sound is just my memory of another dream like this one, where I have to wake up and am that much further from what I'm trying to play

I can hear Mason murmur sounds like the high, wavering notes of his saxophone. I can feel him shiver for a moment. I shake under these reverberations.

We were beautiful as children and we looked like none of our relations: our eyes were too wide and held in them those stark, purpled centers; we lacked our father’s small, thick frame; our mother’s broad nose and hollow cheek-bones. Our uncle called us The Changelings for the disparity.

We were both quiet at that age, and private. Other children did not know our games and parents found us unsettling or, perhaps, merely strange, quixotic curiosities. It can be hard to qualify all of the various uneasy reactions.

But always, more than anything, it was the eyes—the particular violet intensity of them. It'd always been hard for people to maintain eye-contact with us; anyone who caught our shared glances from the corner of their vision and then the fixed attention of our gaze.

As my eye healed up, people began to treat us differently. They seemed to be trying to read things into it, when they registered the broken iris, the light purple contents spilled out across the white of my eye; it seemed as though they saw in the anomaly of it some gesture of the uncanny and, when I was older, something of a quiet, secret confidence, in