Morning, Mourning Jeff Buckley

What Music Speaks, part three

Tracy Lynne Oliver
Gay Mag
Published in
4 min readJun 20, 2019


BBehind the curtain-eclipse the birds sing the day awake. In the warming dim I see his hair spiderwebbed across the pillow, haloing the youth of his head. His face, his body, oh so cold, oh so thankfully covered. The dull smell of death heavy in the room where the birds’ songs fight the quiet, stir the still. I, unlike the birds, break the quiet.

Sorrow has a sound.

I want to crawl in beside him; his wet bed, his heavy jeans, warm his feet where his boots abandoned them. His body so cold from the belly of the Wolf1 that swallowed him. Whole. His skin a flat white-gray where it tried to turn into a fish once it knew it had forever left land behind, once it saw how they swam.

If I could crawl into that moment when he left. If his arms could wrap around me. If our hair could mix together in that Mississippi swell, I would be fine, I think. Numb and free.

When he took that fully-clothed swim, did he know where he was going?

Image: Michel Linssen / Getty Images

I’I’ve been hearing a lot of Nirvana lately. Coming across it in random places and times. I find myself staying with each song. I turn the knob to the right. I sing along. There is something there, still. But I keep wondering what it means, running into these songs with every step and wanting to stay with them.

Kurt’s notebooks look just like his music.

How much of our art looks like our insides?

II think about Jeff. Especially when I’m like this; lost and looking. Especially in the new of morning. I wonder what he would have done if he had stayed. How much music would he have gifted us? Would a different type of river have taken him? Would he follow the way of his father2? What would the veil of age look like on him? His face forever thirty. Forever beautiful. I see photos and I want to touch his jaw, his throat. Run my fingers across his lips. Bury my face in his hair.

The benefits of an early death; locked in lovely.