Day of the Year. you dance so well for a
girl about to fall asleep. and i keep hoping you'll
stay along for another song, one more spin around
the floor. this could go all night, and that would
be all right. i let go of my party balloon, and
i partly think i let go to soon. because it wasn't
even mine for a day, and it takes so soon to fly
The Greatest of
Ease. safety net, i won't forget
you're there. air is so unreliable - you can't count
on anyone anymore. safety net, you won't forget
i'm here? it's clear i've been holding on too hard,
but it's so far to the ground. i won't look down.
i won't look down. i won't look down. i trust you
so far. so good. so far, so good. safety net, you
won't forget i'm here? fear is so predictable, distinctive
as instinct goes. it's not so much that i don't
have faith in what's in store, but it's like the
falling man who counts his fate floor by floor.
he says: so far, so good. so far, so good. so far,
i trust you.
on mountaintops, we dream of a world without wind
to let us in, where the air's not so thin, and you
don't spin away so easily each spring. tristan, i
get dizzy at these heights. tristan, when will you
leave me behind?
A Ghost on the
East Coast. lost my patience outside
a train station somewhere south of massachusetts,
along with all the uses for my hands. back on track
twenty-nine, and i'm on the wrong side of the shoreline.
and you're nowhere in sight, just the sodium glare
from the platform lights. miles away and without
a home. breathless and relentless, and no trace
you're always welcome, you're always welcome. well,
come on in. how long has it been? so, hello, how
are you? my, you're looking fine. it's been such
a long time since you walked out without a sign.
it's always easier to be leaving than to be the
one left behind, but i did not mind - you're always
welcome. well, come on in. it's so good to see you
The Memory Deserts.
fourteen years ago, you left to wander the arizona
sky. and i was nothing but a glimmer in your eye.
no memories to weigh you down, but i'll still be
around. i'll still be around. you can sleep all
day while i'm awake, because when the sun comes
down, i'll still be around.
The Wind and Son.
for the boy who's left behind: you are the air.
you are the heir, and you've inherited the sky.
it's slowly filling up my eyes. i can't hold on
if i try. the sighs of size, oh. the size of sighs.
i'll lend you a hand you my heart in my mouth has
run out of things to say, of secrets to give away.
for the boy who's left behind, this comes to you
by air mail. whispered in your ear.
icarus, i'm so sick of this. why would you leave,
just when i need you most? get your head out of
the clouds. when will you make me proud? icarus,
please don't start. has all the love been burnt
out your heart? remember who you are. remember where
you are. it's not so easy to be a star.
the first thing you saw when you washed up onto
the shore were the words "i don't love you
anymore" scrawled into the sand. and as the
sun and the din from the street beat you sore, you
had a sudden ache for the ocean floor. every night
you dream of the same underwater scene, where you
nearly made your peace, but then the silence suddenly
ceased. and placed by an unseen hand, you were brought
back to the tumult of land. the sound of the hull
against the waves is not around to lull you to sleep
nowadays. you just lie awake, listening to the gulls
in the bay. breathe in salt air as you stare at
the ceiling, trying to recapture the feeling of
being married to the sea, but your vision gets so
watery. every night you dream of the same underwater
scene, but safe beneath your sheets, you'll never
find your way back to that peace.
Law. brush your lips
against the window pane, your eyes fixed on the
horizon, waiting for the sun to rise. this is all
a mirage. this is all false happiness, but i won't
Hundred. i'll come
back for you soon. before the new year, before the
new moon, i'll be in your room again. don't you
cry for me, nothing will go wrong. when this is
all over, we can move on, and i won't be gone long
at all. i would ease your fears if i knew what to
say. dream of a place where no one goes away: that's
where we'll stay. that's where will go tomorrow.
i'll come back for you soon. before the new year,
before the new moon seals our doom.
I Can Recall Is the Haunting.
i could not see the horizon the seas had
swallowed up the skies. the wind died down, and
the world turned silent. the fog rolled back before
my eyes. diffuse blue light swelled all around us,
like water at once both clear and deep. i called
to you over and over, but you would not come out
from sleep. voices rose up in a chorus, in a song
of longing and what could be. i closed my eyes,
but i could see you. o light, please stay with me.
found a moth sleeping in the folds of your dress.
burnt out because he turned out such a mess. he'd
caught sight of a light that called his name. caught
her eyes, and then he cauterized from the flame.
say my dear, is this familiar? i apologize, but
i must avert my eyes from the light.
I Think This Is My
Exit. no one else is on the street
tonight, and you've never seen the city look so
bright. you could go so far in your car and never
stop, but you just keep on circling the block. home
is not so far away. you've just forgotten the way.
the roads all look the same to your weary eyes.
the site where a car crash accidentally lies. you've
got so much faith in your teardrop heart, as the
seams of your seatbelt fall silently apart. you've
just forgotten the way home.
The House We Will
Make. in the house we will make someday,
we'll sleep in on sunday. the sheets and the sun's
rays will close all around, wash over like ocean
sounds. we'll stay in the bedroom until slanting
sunlight tells us it's afternoon. won't it be sweet?
we'll want for naught. all that we'll need will
be all we've got. and we'll never speak of days
when we'd desperately seek shelter from terrible
storms, trying just to keep safe and warm.
skating on a smooth obsidian sea, black sky reflects
under your feet. miles away, the lights of your
city life still burn, where the tick of clocks and
the click of locks are anxious for your return.
the cold air drowns out every sound except your
breathing - your breath rising up from the ground.
you could glide forever with your hands behind your
back, but unseen, the ice beneath you begins to
crack. are you out there? who is watching over me?
I am floating. here's to hoping. here's hoping.
Out of Sight, Out
of Mind. i thought i heard your voice amid
the noise out on the street. i imagined it at best,
but the knot in my chest still skipped a beat. i
cannot concentrate or think at all of late for the
thought of you, though it's been so long since the
day i found you were gone when i came to. last night,
i saw your face. but something was wrong that i
could not quite place. suddenly i began to realize:
the eyes i did not recognize. i woke up with a start
and a pounding heart, gasping for air. i thought
you were a ghost, or a dream at most, but you're
everywhere. was that you just then, calling me again?
spoke too soon when they said they knew you oh so
well by now. but in your defense, you always sensed
the break just around the bend. but you can't forget
the silhouette that watched you from the window.
with one last doubt, you turned - only to see the
lights go out. suddenly you said with a start: "this
is the part where i depart. please don't pin your
hopes on me. my skin's too thin for your instability."
when you came to, you found all that you'd wished
for had come true. alone and unknown, with the latent
leaden weight lifted from you. but an ache in your
chest was dragging down the rest like gravity. they
say the x-ray found a landmine where your heart
sun, you've run astray. what did we do to drive
you away? does some new fear plague that i can't
allay? have you grown weary of shining all day?
it's grown so dark in this place, since you've been
longing for the shade on your face. as if your own
light could be displaced. now, do you run from what
it illuminates? i know you grow tired of this weight,
how your fate is a burden you'd hope to escape.
but i remember how bright you once shined. i remember
how high you used to climb: you were always too
far for me to hold. would you let me grow old in
this cold? what other world are you trying to find?
are you going to leave me behind? please, don't
leave me behind.
you lost the language right out of your mouth. an
instinct to scream, but no sound would come out.
a swan with a note caught in her throat. burnt out
the wick. bit down to the quick. you were caught
in the drag and carried a long ways, and couldn't
get out. you keep having this dream, but can't recall
how it goes. there's movement in shadows speaking
with voices you know you know. how did it go? how
does it go? it should be light out, but you can't
see a thing. and you can't shake the feeling you're
We Are Also What
We've Lost. you can't outrun this storm.
you turned and locked your door, as rivers overran
the streets, and water pooled round your feet. you
can't outrun this storm. the seas rose above their
shores. you watched as your windows burst, and soon,
everything was immersed.
Away, Into the Light.
below the street, you heard a sigh of air brakes
as a long good-bye. oh how i wish i could join you
in the sky. to get out and up, away, into the light.
but i'm ever further moving down, in tunnels far
below the ground. careening past, so fast i'm spun
around. but someday, at last i will be found in
the air. you will be waiting. in the air, this weight
will just fall away. i walked with swollen, calloused
feet through corridors of gray concrete. high overhead,
past all the glass and steel, my eyes are cast for
wind i cannot feel, in the air. you will be waiting
in the air. this way, we'll just fall away.
You Gave Away. the pacific northwest coast holds a place i'd longed to see. an unmarked stretch of beach, tied to your memory. i made my way there, breathed that air and walked on those dunes. i sank my feet in the sand, holding your
daughter's hand. there's a debt, sir, unanswered, i can't repay: what you gave away. they say
the fire goes out on a star long before we know
of the light that shines down on us below. i went
to that beach, footprints trailing behind,
to be washed out by the tide or for someone to find.
Thunder and Gale. please let the
rain in. open all the windows wide. let the wind
blow that furious thing inside to spring forth some
life. i feel it pulsing: a buried network of roots
that will break the floor with fresh green shoots
to climb up over me and through the roof. please
let the sails down, let the canvas fall slack and
loose. throw the oars overboard, for they're no
use. we'll let the tides take us where they choose.
we'll just keep drifting, hoping the waves don't
pull us down. and if by chance we find that we've
been run aground, we'll start a new life for ourselves
where we've been found.
Haze. you raced on up ahead as your
silhouette blocked out the sun. i gave chase, though
drowsy haze of those summer days was deep in my
Dream. dry brush waits for a spark,
to be transformed into flames bright and true that
would burn all night through. to be reborn is all
that it wants, but as days stretch, the thought
starts to haunt that no spark will fly. were you
left here for dust, rust, and wind, not knowing
just what kind of trouble you're in? while something
still stirs and yearns, you can still feel the burn.
you've lost how days brought you here, to stand
stranded again. speaking in tongues, with no breath
in your lungs, and calling out. but the names all
get caught, just as you once knew but now forgot
what you've been looking for. was it to or from
someone that all this time you've been on the run?
or once again, has your memory been wrong, and you've
been alone all along?
Below. packed everything you had into the
car. rolled the whole thing into the lake. now there's
nothing left to tie you to this place except a heavy,
sinking ache. the water's surface settled down again,
with one more secret buried below. that's one more
life you've lived and left behind, but it gets no
easier to let go. but running is the one thing that
you've always known just how to do, because the
trouble up ahead might not be as bad as what's waiting
here for you. but you're so tired. you've grown
streetlights spark to life as we pass by, caught
in panes of warehouse windows and reflected in your
eyes. lying on your lawn on our sides. we'll stay
outside. all our friends are all alright and all
around. the grass and dust and summer dusk is just
settling down. there's nowhere that we would rather
be. as day wanes, our shadows stretch below. it's
perfect where we are, as the sun hangs low.
when night falls, there's an electricity in the
air on your bare arms that sings of what could be.
the city glimmers underneath the fading light. what
joy to be a witness, to be alive and with this night.
we breathe in ghosts of loves, waiting above
to be once again dreamt of.
Distant Lights. if you say yes, we
could leave, we could go. we'd be gone. we could get
there in time to see the dawn. come on.
i don't need to sleep. i'll keep driving all night
long. i know there's something to see. i hear it calling
to me every night now, with an anxious sound that makes
my blood pound. as we drive down,
what were names on a map will gather all around, waiting
to be found. if you say yes, we could leave, we could
go. we won't know what awaits us in those distant lights
unless you say yes, so say yes, because now our only
fear should be what happens if we just stay here.
so pick the road that we'll take. I've got this
deep steady ache running through me. I want to breathe the
air outside of this town. as we drive down, what were names on a map
will gather all around, waiting to be found.
parked in your car, you're safe, you're saved. and
though your hands shake and your lungs ache and
the belt chafes, somehow you're still safe. four
feet up, the road just stops at a forty-foot drop,
where your high beams catch the last seam before
the air sinks over the black brink. you must have
dozed. you came so close with your eyes closed.
but somehow, you're alive now, and wide awake. your
foot's still on the brake.
Burned. the thin slip of moon through
the shade was lost on sleeping eyes seeing smoke
rise up through the birch and pine, where a sinking
red sun found us, as all around us the fires surround
there's nothing to hold us down. we'll cut the strings.
we'll kiss the ground goodbye. we'll catch up a western
breeze that eddies us up past the trees to sky. let
the line slip free. the ballast is your memory. let
it drop to the ground. we'll always be around. mother
to her baby said we're never lost. we're never dead.
we fly. our thoughts get spun like silken threads,
cast down below like sighs. i told you baby, once;
i said, we never die, we simply get untied.