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Love Can't Touch You Now

Some songs will hurt you, peel back your skin, your fingernails, like when you watch his patience run out. I was 13 looking for a priest with bad intentions. My motivation: ruin other people's dreams.

The roadway, the road kill is dying to ask you: which parts do you mean? The smirks and concern. It's not your mouth that works.

Black ice black ice black ice black ice black ice.

The roadway, the road kill is dying to ask you: which parts are truthful? The smirks and concern. It's not your mouth that works. And this is the reason, the judgment against me. In this case, this one straw all alone will break me. Love can't touch you now.


Cartoon Violence

Brained, a luckless guy, kind but out of time. Why would they try? Son, I do not like the look that's in your eye. Why won't you die? It all smacks me of cartoon violence. Three words were all it took you: BRING IT ON!!!


Untitled (Pearly)

I've been thinking about you. You've been thinking about yourself. I read a poem written by a fly on a windowsill. It said: Each day is another chance. It said: Each new day is another chance.

You've been thinking about yourself. I've been dreaming about it every night. And I have fewer words that cover you. And I have newer ways to envy you. Trust is a title. Faith is a word in a song. I want your heart to ache. I want your heart to break open.

Ah, ah! Maybe you know you're being lied to. Ah, ah! Maybe you think you know how it ends. Ah, ah! Maybe your checking account will not be overdrawn. Ah, ah! Maybe this will be enough. Maybe this will be enough...

Dawn at a public park. Someone you don't know leans into you. You're only young once. You're only young once for a very, very long time.


Quel age a-t-il?

You met a man last night. You got into his car. In the grey morning light, you wake up and you don't know where you are. A message at the tone from Carolyn back home. Her third call this week. Press 7 to delete. A message from your boss at your minimum wage job. "If you call in sick again, don't ever bother coming back in." Do you think that we don't know where all your money goes? Oh! Do you really think that we don't know?

You took a room by yourself. Your friends talk about your health, about your nose, about your brain, between your toes, about your veins. And when they ask about your dad, do you tell 'em where he's at? How he got there, what he's done, how he's not the only one?

All the questions that you dodge, all the borrowed stuff you lost, the merchandise you palm, the midnight calls to Mom. Until you decide it's done once for all, we've done what we can. We wait for the call.


You Made Me A Liar

Yesterday I spoke. I blathered on endlessly to anyone about anything. A stream of ugly words, a torrent that I thought was trust, that I thought was real. You made me a liar. You made my words lies. In the space of one night, you made me write things that people like me never should. Oh, have I misunderstood?

Every army needs a flag, a baffle or a word game, an excuse. I no longer speak my native tongue. I no longer recognize my home town, my home town. You made me a liar. You made my words lies. In the space of one night, you made me write things that people like me never should. Oh, have I misunderstood? Cast the pall away.


I Seldom Do

You were 16 and spinning drunk on the cool grass of your best friend's back yard. He was 19, a friend of a friend. He called you a 'tard. And I knew, lying next to you. I saw it before it began. I told you then; I'll tell you again: If you're looking for someone to hurt you, you're sure to find someone who'll hurt you.

So take him by the things God gave him and show him the door. You were hoping for some conversation and you knew that meant more. And I don't blame you. I could never blame. You're all meat. You're all smiles. You're in deep. And you're 1000 miles from me now.


I think you're a normal man you has some pretty abnormal obsessions. I think you're an average man with some completely unrealistic ambitions. You've never seemed so far away. I've never been so far away.


Knitting Needle

In a Title 1 house behind the grocery store, past a chained-up dog and through a screened-in porch: you at age 14 when your mom was still alive. Rushing her to the hospital was how you learned to drive. And the doctor was so kind. And the doctor was so cold. One glance means too much to an overheated brain.

But a 14 year-old girl has a kind of strange worldview. You thought that he might leave his life and cling to you. He rearranged your body, and he rearranged your mind. You thought pop songs were poetry, and you thought neglect was kind.

And I love you now like I loved you then, when I waited with the car's engine running, and you and he were off behind the dumpster. He left you bleeding in the bath, left you unconscious with the water swirling red around you. You woke up mumbling some lines. All cliches and clumsy rhymes. We're all alone sometimes. We're all alone sometimes.


Dead Men (Epoxy)

You dreamt a baby carriage and a baby that didn't live. It looked like a black and ruffley octopus in a coffin. You broke a window, you placed the shards inside my heart so I could be free.

You're free like a life raft cut adrift. You're free like an actor with no script.

You did some things with him you didn't quite expect to, you didn't quite agree to. There is one thing you regret. A bloody clot, a pamphlet, the doctor made sure you were comfortable and free.

You're free like a life raft cut adrift. You're free like a play without a script. One hundred days left on your lease. One hundred ways to find your piece, when I will finally summon you back to me.

County jail, empty threats... County jail wasn't kind.


Sing For Yourself

The back seat cradled you like a sick bed, like your parent's foldout, like any other in the series of couches you stayed on that autumn. And I turned around the wrong way in the passengers seat when you when you when you..

You sang to yourself even though I was there. You never asked me; I never told you, but you knew. You want to cling to "maybe." Still, when he says "might be," it means "will." And once he's gone, baby, he's gone.

We scraped the tire against the curb and watched the sun rise over the suburbs. We weren't fooling anyone. You said, "No Mom, I don't want a window." You weren't fooling anyone.

You sang to yourself. You sing for yourself. You never asked me. I wouldn't have told you if you had. And I can still see your frozen breath in the air as you mount your stairs under the cold November light. Then I'm gone.


Your Comic Timing

A tangle, a hopeless know of twigs and bows, it winds and tightens through claws of crows, through all acquaintances yours and mine. Your comic timing is flawless.

Another botched attempt. Your friends all snicker, as we weave and dodge the lightning bolts. She said, "The wine is slow. The pills are quicker." A standing reservation at the clinic.



You don't act like you have ever seen a phone. You don't act like you want to make it home. You don't want to make the best of an awful situation, put a nasty reputation to rest. You live up to our lowest expectations, justify your lover's reservation, put our concern for you to test.

You told her that you loved her just to see how it would feel like trying on a uniform, but your voice gave you away. Every ugly every vicious word, you earned. You deserved every word.