Editor’s note: This poem is a slice of life from the LiLi Roquelin performance last Saturday at Scribbles Cafe. (LiLi Roquelin’s Midwest Music release and Video Premiere).
The books sit on their shelves and the room is swallowed in conversation.
LiLi Roquelin gives a five-minute warning of impending sound.
With a slight smile plastered to her face, her voice leaks out of her mouth, slowly, but impatiently.
Her petite body sits behind the keyboard and her fingers begin to scurry, like spiders, across the smooth black and white keys.
The February air pushes up against the door of the coffee shop and enters with each new audience member.
A room full of eyes blink toward her — consumed.
“We thought we knew each other,” she sings in her French inflection.
Her voice weaves in and out of notes.
The sound of coffee being made rattles in the background.
Her songs continue, successively, in a delirium of haunting vocals, which melt in the air and pour into ears.
“A nightmare I had,” invites you in, bathing you in its melody, on the low end of the spectrum, giving the impression of a half-slumber waking.
A deep breath precedes the familiarity of her voice — looses itself, knowing where it will end up.
With her eyes closed, she plays, as if in memory.
Her voice allows the last notes to drift out of the keyboard without interruption.
Clapping hands erase the music from the air, completely.