July 24, 2008

Cactus Song

I'll never be one of those girls,
lacelike and sunny at the edges,
with yards of skin like farm-fresh cream
and guileless, wide, light-streaming eyes.

My thorns were sharp
long before
the bud had ever blossomed.

I've never been one of those girls,
who makes men feel
as though they've found redemption
in the crook of their elbow,
who makes men want
to cherish and protect,
as one protects a hothouse lily
from the elements
that may besmirch its petals
with the dust and dross of life.

I am a spiky, spiny plant
that flowers, on occasion,
to vivid, scorching color,

a flowering cactus,
always overly enthusiastic
to find a drop of moisture
in its familiar desert.
And my thick, bright petals wilt
as quickly and completely

as the shivering red bloom on the tip
of a cigarette,
pleasing for a while, then
sucked up,
used up,
discarded carelessly
and guiltlessly,
left in the dark to rot
or regenerate.

July 18, 2008

All the Time in the World (lyric)

Long legs in faded jeans
Some old movie on the TV screen
And a voice like whiskey in a dirty glass

Johnny Cash on the radio
Driving fast with nowhere to go
And I didn't care that it would never last

He said, "Darlin', there's more to life than breathing.
And more to love than talking about feelings."
He said, "Take my hand and follow me,
You know I got no place to be,
No clock to watch, no one to answer to.
I've got all the time in the world,
And if you want it, darlin', so do you."

A guy like him, a girl like me,
It always starts so easily,
The story's old, but worth another tell.
A smile across a pint of beer,
"Hey, why don't we get out of here,"
And we got to know each other pretty well.

He said, "Darlin', you know that I could tell you
All that stuff the ladies like to hear.
But you wouldn't believe it, anyway,
So this is all I'm gonna say,
I know that you are only passing through.
But I've got all the time in the world,
And if you want it, darlin', so do you."

Then came the day we knew would come,
My plane took off, and he went home
In that old truck he'd never let me drive.
While I, a mile up in the air,
I soaked a blanket with my tears,
But I guess heartbreaks make us feel alive.

And I thought, "Darlin', it might take me a while.
And I don't know if you can wait for me.
But this is not a one-way track,
Someday, I'll be coming back,
A little older, little wiser too.
And I'll have all the time in the world,
And if you'll still want me, you know
I'll spend it all with you."

July 16, 2008

Photograph (lyric)

A picture's worth 1000 words
But we spoke maybe 10
Before you had your arm around me
Like you were my man
And I said nothing, I just laughed
That's when somebody took
Our photograph.

I guess I have myself to blame,
Your past and future were the same -
I knew it, 'cause I saw it in your eyes.
Oh, I have excuses by the bunch -
You were so sweet, I was so drunk -
The truth is, I just told myself a lie.

A picture's worth 1000 words,
I just remember 3
When you leaned down and whispered
That you wanted me
I moved closer to you,
And maybe I shouldn't have.
That's when somebody took
Our photograph.

Then they put the camera away
And my plane was leaving in 2 days
And there you were, all lips and hands and skin.
I thought it didn't matter much
That I was tripping off your touch
I thought it didn't have to mean anything.

I guess I knew it from your voice
The way you said her name.
The way you said it not quite
A half-hour after you came.
But I said nothing, I just lit
My second cigarette.
I thought that I could stay detached.
I guess I lost that bet.

And everything that's happened since
Was all that I should have foreseen
At least I wasn't taken by surprise.
And I'll admit that it did hurt
When I heard you got back with her
But even so, I thought I was all right.

A picture's worth 1000 words,
I have no words at all.
'Cause this is moving through me like
A fist moves through a wall.
And I'm sure they had all good intent,
But really, they shouldn't have
Sent me a copy of
Our photograph.

July 8, 2008

Tests

First came the rains,
like a warning from the sky,
flooding everything nearly out of existence,
and it whispered,

"Do you still love me?"

Then came the fog,
like a veil across the eyes of a frightened bride,
obscuring everything that might have been beautiful,
and it hissed,

"Do you still love me?"

Then came the snow,
like white paralysis,
closing everyone's eyes,
and it rasped,

"Do you still love me?"

Then came the sea,
like a beast from the earth's round belly,
churning and howling and swallowing everything that was left,
and it growled,

"Do you still love me?"

Then came a breath,
like a prize snatched by a lucky thief,
bringing the memory of everything that was and might be,
and it gasped,

"I do."