Memory of an attic room by Leen Raats

Memory of an attic room

When the music hits
I feel no pain at all.
– Rancid

It’s the music that saved me
on long days underneath the roof window
of a drafty row house on a street
where no one wanted to know me.

At night I dissolved into crowds
like sugar in coffee. Invisible
but everywhere my shadow slipped
along facades, over thresholds where riffs

screamed in the wordless despair
only rockers and poets understand.

Back home I sneaked along the wall
behind which everyone slept, holding my breath
when the stairs creaked, my foot
hovering over a step.


Leen Raats (39) is a Belgian writer and freelance copywriter. She self-published a couple of books and won writing competitions, but so far only in Dutch. Her first publication in English will be The Solitary Man, a short story that will appear in the fall issue of 34 Orchard.

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