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"BRIGHT ALERT"

The Sweetest You've Heard

The bookcase now hides the mirror. Look at me. How many fingers does it take to hold you down? Sitting up now. Nothing is the same from here on out now. It's a shame, that's all I have to say. It's a waste. What I wouldn't pay to hear those words again. Trying hard to keep eyes open. Sinking in it's really over now. Hey! Hey, it's over now!

Tell me what you mean when you say "together." Never had the words before each other. It's a piece of landfill you bought at a yard sale. Now it holds your deepest thoughts, holds for blackmail. Tell me: what does it mean, the words you heard, the things you've seen? Tell me: how do we get back? A gentle word, another setback.

Can't we lie to each other like we did before? My mind is weaker, can't keep pace anymore. Can I sing you a new song that I only just learned? I'll keep it soft, the sweetest you've heard. Trying hard to keep eyes open. Sinking in it's really over now. Hey! Hey! Hey, it's over now!

 

As You Slide Into Sleep

Should we call a medic? Should we get you something that will help you sleep tonight, that will help you to forget today and all your worthless friends who care but don't know what to say? Now as you slide into sleep, listen to my voice and let the moonlight lightly caress your face, and let your head sink deeper into the abyss, and let your mind perfectly blank go perfectly blank.

They were frozen in their place. It was after midnight. Crack the window, breathing in the cold night air. Forget that it was only for your own sake you decided not to fight back. Yes, we all miss you. But you shouldn't come back. Nothing's changed here, and your friends still haven't found the words to make sense of how you left and how to fix our broken hearts. Our broken hearts.

Oh, it's a long way down. It's a hard road back, and they call you sweetheart to your face, whisper in your ear. It's the wrong way 'round. You know we've got a knack for always knowing just what not to say and saying it anyway.

See them whisper in their sleep, all those sighs and secrets. See the hours that we keep and the shabby treatment. Found you looking at a book, one you'll never read. Find the white hairs if you look. Please don't look at me the same way as your old friends that you don't talk to anymore. If I could I'd tear it all off the walls and start again. We'd start again.

 

Bleed

Bleed the advertisement's smiling face. Bleed the days you spent all tangled up. Bleed the way he leans in when he speaks of a new way through. Bleed there, too. Bleed the dreams that pin you down at night. Bleed the hours you spend on nowhere thoughts. Bleed your way into your car and a new way through. Bleed there, too. Bleed the memory of his hand in yours. Bleed the words you never got to say. Bleed your way out of bed into a new day through. Bleed there, too. Bleed the way he asks, "How have you been?" Bleed the way the door is pushed open. Bleed the way you blink into the light of a new day through. Bleed there, too. Bleed as you pull on your clothes. Bleed when all your neck hair stands straight up. Bleed and feel his hands on you and a new day, too. Bleed clean through. Bleed the thoughts of a different time. Bleed the hopes that fade away. Bleed the love that drains your heart in a new day through. Bleed there, too.

 

Busted Love

You were alone in the back seat of the car reading words you knew by heart just for comfort, just to twist the knife in. Conversation from the front seat drifts past your head, cradles your imagination until you hear your name and say, "I wasn't listening."

I could leave here nameless. I could leave you faceless. I could leave the rest of this up to you and never make the time for us now. You read all my favorite books and underlined the sentimental parts so you could go back later and assign meaning out of context. Lordy, what a story.

There are ways of going about these things. You tore out the pages with all the rules. It's time, it's time to put them back again. You were whispering through the whole show. I didn't catch most of what you said, but what I did hear left me left me cold. This light I've seen in your eyes, it's been gone for a while, I'll say it now. Say it kindly, say it twice or more: this love I've loved is busted top to floor.

 

Your Fake Name

You can smell the wood smoke in the air as you climb the three flights of stairs to your apartment. Bags on the counter, keys on the hook, but the hook isn't there. He took it when he left a week ago. So bags on the counter, keys in the right front pocket.

You're no gambler, but if you had to make a bet, you would put your money on never seeing their faces again. You can honestly say you didn't know what was coming. You can honestly say you didn't see which way the stream was running. Will you look at them with helpless eyes, with forgiving eyes?

You always seem to like to leave the most important things unsaid, the most restrictive things, the most meaningful things unsaid. But no one likes a safety net when it makes them feel wrung out and hollow, tame and shallow. A flock of birds hitting the window.

We meet for a drink. You spring for a cab. We're going the same direction but you give me a kiss and send me along. Friends are an obligation you would shirk if you could. You told me you would. I didn't believe you then; I believe you now I can see why you would want to introduce yourself with a fake name. You introduce yourself with a fake name. Your fake name.

 

Don't You Hate Being Right?

Memory stops at the point when you unscrew the lid, replaced by the story you got the next day from a casual friend. Don't you hate being right again? Grey light of morning in a hotel room you don't recall renting. A feeling you don't recall ever having before. An outlook, a mood. It's as changeable as anything. There are things we used to hold dear and unchangeable, the bedrock of our lives, unbreakable. But those things are gone. Now you hate when he's right. Don't you hate when he's right?

Your thoughts stretch out towards your right hand. Machines do your breathing. A dart of fear.

Will you hate when I'm right? Will you hate when I'm right? The snow on your car is all undisturbed. Now it's been clear for days. No one can get you to dig out and leave. Fingers pry open your heart to all of us. Pry open your heart to all of us.

Thoughts stretch out towards your right hand. Machines do your breathing. A dart of fear. Was he at the station? Was he on the train? Or already gone, nothing to fear?

 

Poetry From Someone Sane

"There isn't much to steal here." That's the first thought through your head. Crack a warm beer. Remember what the doctor said.

It's all the same. Forget the name. No one left to blame. You wonder what someone sane would do now.

You don't go for chats. "Small talk stinks," they said.

You tug your face in different directions, maybe scowl at your reflection. There's nothing left here for you. There's nothing more that we can do.

It's all the same. Forget the name. No one left to blame. You wonder what someone sane would do now.

 

To Be The Smoke

You collapse with your whole body on fire. For a moment forget how young, how tired you are. You and me out back, I watch your face. You're ahead, I can't keep up your pace at all. If it stops like this, forever miss, if I track your gaze over my face.

Hold on tightly to me. Hold on. It's so damned strange to me.

If this waking dream were true, well I wouldn't wait. I'd break every traffic law getting back to you. When it all goes up in smoke, I'll be at the window when you get home dreaming. Oh, to be that smoke.

I can't promise I'll always love you the way I love you right now. But I promise I'll always remember how it feels to love you right now.