At loud house parties,
did you ever slip away
and close the door of some corner room,
dampening the bass, the chatter,
look about at the eerie stillness –
a museum at night –
and fight the urge to sleep
in the comforting far-off cries
of sirens, in your city-loft;
the wildness swarms
but wraps and bends around your solitude.
I suppose they call this ‘privacy’;
the ability to disengage,
and retreat to your corner of the house.
I feel stifled,
held back by the wind,
a muffled, drowsy air,
but a great salt lake
surpassing every horizon,
rendering escape impossible,
where I have little more to do
but figure out how to kill time,
as time in turn works on killing me.
I’ve had years to fashion it otherwise,
and whilst I find myself in favorable stead,
I cannot live like this;
the one thing that makes it all worth living –
for even the joy it brings to sing and play,
the sadness in my songs will well and swell,
and one day pull the trigger
or pour the final straw.
It is not uncommon.
I’m bitter about the whole affair;
that I could not have saved you sooner,
that faking presence via phone calls is what remains,
where once it was all we had
to listen and learn and dig and discover.
Now this in-between time has become a dead purgatory;
stop-gapping our kisses with endlessly repeated riffs
from songs we played together.
I do not wish the time away.
Nor can we recover a younger beginning.
But I am half-alive without you,
and I have half a year to serve.
It does not weaken.
Every time, I love a little bolder.
Undeterred by the pain,
I’m stronger for it.
I’ll fight harder.
I’ll dig deeper.
More, not less.
Wiser, not bitter.
By this I shall know
that you too understand that kind of love;
What are you afraid of finding there,
lurking between the lines?
It’s been so long since you laid it bare,
and tugged at roots and vines
to see what wriggles free or scatters
when shaking off the earth,
to see what really matters,
and what holds on to its worth
when dragged from rock to sea and back,
when tested at its seams,
and comforts you despite the lack
of insight you can glean
from each disjointed metaphor –
but don’t forego the method
that’s seen you through a thousand storms;
there are many more yet weathered.
There’s something that feels so right
about having sheet music on the piano,
and you on my mind.