“Listening to Singing” by Iris Dement


“Listening to Singing” is an exuberant, joyful, ecstatic song. I leaped around and around the kitchen island to it, humming the melody rather than singing along. I am one of those people seduced by melodies first: I was so in love with the soaring runs of piano keys and Dement’s warbling, unearthly voice, that days of binge-listening to this song passed before the words of the chorus penetrated enough for me to get curious. I looked up the lyrics and discovered the singing I hadn’t been listening to: “It’s as if the grave were not ahead/It’s as if the grave were not ahead/It’s as if the grave were not ahead.” Do I love the song even more now? Absolutely.

-Halina Duraj

duraj_author-photo-2016_by-ale-meterHalina Duraj’s stories have appeared in The Harvard Review, The Sun, Fiction, and the 2014 O’Henry Prize Stories. Her debut story collection, The Family Cannon, was published by Augury Books in 2014 and was a finalist for the 2015 Council of Literary Magazines and Presses Debut Fiction Award. She teaches literature and creative writing at the University of San Diego.

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