Anser Journal

You Taught Me
To Love The Cello

By Riya Cyriac

You taught me to love the cello.
You never played but your
fingers were nimble enough to press
down on the vibrating strings &
you were big enough to cradle the
aged wood, deep instrument between
your thighs.

I imagined us then, attending one hundred
cello concerts. We were connoisseurs,
patrons of a withering art. We wore
clothing formal enough for the duke and duchess
& my mind felt beautiful. It did around
you.

But the concert lights lifted, casting
brightness onto the stage and suddenly
the pearls and prowess and perfection
of us faded & I only heard the cello
as it whined and reverberated and mocked
me, my gloves, my powder, us

as if it were warning me that this life
I perceived was slipping away from me
as long as I allowed you to
teach me to love the cello.


Riya M. Cyriac is a 17-year-old writer based in Texas. Her work has appeared in Bitter Fruit Review, Poetics, and is slated to appear in Tether’s End, Augment, and the Remnant Archive. She is also The Executive Director of The Young Writers Initiative.