And the broken pieces were still there. He wasn’t the owner, but he owned where they were. Sean owned the bar he owned Sunset Inn Again and he owned Maddie’s room, but he didn’t own the pieces to that guitar. And this was the second time the door had been busted open. Yesterday and today. Benjy’s guitar the one Maddie played with sheet music strewn about her the torn page from David’s journal Bethany’s letter her fingers finding chords with little force as she sat cross-legged on her bed–that was destroyed broken to pieces after Benjy used it to wedge the door shut much like his father did with that Gibson ES-150 twenty-five years earlier what wasn’t broken and what was returned to him (David) with a missing string–a recapitulation of sorts a father son thing. But the broken pieces were still there. Scattered across the floor. He (Sean) bursting into that room Maddie’s room upstairs with a shotgun and the words on his lips, “I love…” and nothing more.

And so David said, “Don’t love…” and nothing more as he stood between Maddie and that shotgun, but if the broken pieces could speak if that guitar could still be played the nothing more would not be silence just no words and it saying in the chord progression in one note following another leading in a certain direction the song the recognized pattern of not-language and like that still small voice inside if put into words relaying the emotions between human beings expressing themselves to one another how God speaks to you without uttering a sound to your ears yet you still hear it it still forms words which when put together before they’re ever uttered invoke the emotion the clarity the epiphany of everything the a priori knowledge of God and forefinger pointed straight at you saying: no don’t love don’t love like that don’t give it the name of love that which enslaves you no don’t love don’t go back to that form of slavery for the power is yours the power of love and it can’t be just given away like that for that is for snakes and spiders and cats awaiting the fattened bird in the cage and love is no caged bird and love does not hurt for some kinds of love if given that name are a form of prejudice a need a convenience and there are so many people so many women you do not meet which if you could love them would bring you the happiness you yearn and why some no kinds of love are better than others how a song when you sing it out again would lift these broken pieces up and would bind and mend them together and they would heal the healer… no don’t love don’t call this love which allows the object of your affection to say and do what they wish calling it brutal honesty while you must be nice and suffer disrespect no do not suffer this poison as the singer of songs and do not be afraid of what you may lose for there is no fear in love and honestly they don’t love you anyway if they make you feel sorry for yourself if you have to change without encouragement if you can’t be just the way you are so listen as the guitar plays and let there be tears of joy let there be answered prayers as you realize I’m not talking to you how the message changes depending on the relationship the lover and the loved the sin and the repentance who feels the need to repent and who is righteous let them be righteous still and rest yourself on the strength of these strings these broken pieces…

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