Jan Alexander

My Indigo Voice
by Jan Alexander

In my dreams I’m the world’s steamiest singer of torch songs. I step on stage and you are breathless; I’m truth dressed in sequins, taking you aboard my spaceship that touches planet rapture, then explodes. My voice carries the soul of broken hearts past: Nina Simone, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, and Violetta’s deathbed aria. I sing chords of blue even when I’m young, and my voice grows deeper indigo as I live through my own tempests.

I sing in clubs heady with wine and perfume and desire; fragrances that waft through my songs and tattoo your heart. My songs are flames you can’t extinguish. You cling to my songs for heat when you’re adrift in an arctic sea of loneliness.

My voice, though, has no soul mate. My voice has soared to planet rapture and knows you can’t get there without wearing a blindfold. It has seen all self-deceptions and good intentions, all the half-truths in the language of seduction. My voice tells you love is a mirror of your own longings.

My voice has taken me through airwaves that reach every latitude. My voice fills frangipani-scented gardens and improvised boudoirs, it fills your head as you contemplate a fuchsia sunset. Somewhere, every night, I’m singing at a silver microphone. The piano is lacquer, the encores are euphoria. My songs are my home. They’ve brought me a life of love as opiate and adventure that always ends with too much truth. I’ll sing a deathbed aria myself someday, and after that my songs will float through the universe, infinite.

PHOTO: Jan Alexander borrows a guitar and acts out her glam fantasies. Photo by Paul Oratofsky, September 2015.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jan Alexander lives in a New York apartment with her husband, two cats, and the nightly background sound of swing, cabaret and blues standards. She is a worshipful listener but can’t carry a tune and has given up trying, even at karaokes or in the shower. She formerly worked as a journalist in Hong Kong and China and has written two novels inspired by her time there, Getting to Lamma, and her new novel, Ms. Ming’s Guide to Civilization, which was serialized on sparklit.media in the first half of 2016 and is now in search of a permanent home. Her short fiction has appeared in 34th Parallel, Everyday Fiction (everydayfiction.com) and the Neworld Review (neworldreview.com).