By Harmony Hazard

July 6, 2020


I want to believe that the first song I heard came from my mother. She sang "Moon River" while putting me to bed. I'm crossing you in style someday. What was that river of the moon? I wondered if I could look up at the sky, smashed with bits of stars, and trip into the moon's silver river, oh, dream maker, where I would skip stones, slap shoulders back, watch the light splatter over water, heartbreaker, my mother's moon-face above me, wherever you're going, I'm going that way, but I knew then, even from the safety of my childhood bed, the lie of those words; I felt somehow what the river meant: that I would be alone in it, that all these years later, I would slip into the water, enter an MRI machine, tethered only by an IV, like an astronaut almost lost to space except for the thin line connecting her home, the word cancer glaring as the moon, and when they ask me what music I want to hear, I want to say, my mother's mellifluous voice, off to see the world, as if her words were a river of song I could travel along, there's such a lot of world to see, as if her voice could keep me afloat, keep me from swimming away.


Harmony Hazard has been published in The Rumpus, Catapult, Hippocampus, Essay Daily, CALYX,and in the anthology Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief. “Stream” is an excerpt of her memoir-in-progress. She is on Twitter at @harmonyhazard.


Photo by Ankush Minda courtesy of Unsplash

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