So you had a boozy summer,
folded June into September,
paper-thin and torn,
held hostage by a hungry ghost
20 years, maybe more...
a warm gun in your hand,
waist-deep in a cold, dark lake.
quicksand-slow but sticky-sweet,
a languid leach feeding off each thought and every damn choice.
Now negotiate the ransom:
all your bourbon and one promise
will wake your tired soul, stop this madness.
Walking back into the world, sunshine a stabbing pain,
you forget it’s here to warm you,
you recite your prayers for rain.
I am waiting curbside,
holding a permission slip,
go ahead, take it:
Permission to unburden your sweet head from the bitter past
Permission to put down your weapon, no more fighting to be last
Permission to flick your guilt away, fingertips to a cigarette butt
Permission to kick your own ass out of this miserable, unchanging rut
The terrorists hung up the phone, a while ago,
but damn if they’re not in your head...
Replay the fifty ways you could’ve wound up dead,
feed the fear and find your mind’s already buried.
Newly free, but life feels false when your brain looks out
from inside an empty bottle.
Talk is tough with glass between us,
I think of clever ways to make you stop and listen,
I keep believing
I’ll forever be naive
you’re forever blue with a bloodied sleeve,
where your heart rests,
too raw, too tender for this world.
Stand in the rain, arms raised and screaming!
We know the truth, it’s time to change;
the ransom’s been paid…
it's time to go.