I got some money I saved enough to get underway :: songs and poetry


My Bag of Tricks 
(by me)

She needed every surrounding moonbeam and candlestick to be lemon fresh and sparkling as a falling star in the midnight sky
Her crazy bled out like that,
her obsession
He never understood,
not until the day she flew back from Michigan
photos in her hand
lining them out like scars in front of us,
he and I

There she was
her lips cherry red
Strawberry Shortcake tee shirt
hair tangled and dirty
and the surrounding piles of dirt and decay
erupting like a volcano
choking a little girl’s needs
and she left them lying there
the pictures
and started to straighten the sofa cushions

I guess I thought a road trip could fix things
make me the apple in her eye
or something
I was plum out of ideas
scratching at desperate actions and reactions
anything to bring back her smile
that smile
Her lips that tasted like tangerine dreams
and junior high stolen fantasies ripped from the pages of some torrid paperback
(you know the ones)

We drove to L.A. first
She laughed at what was supposed to be the Peach Pit
I took a picture of her in front of it
trying to look all of 90210
I told her we could replace those pictures
we could make our own
with backgrounds and back drops of our choosing
Anything we could dish up
There were no limits
not really

Highway 80
We were laughing at the firework shops in Wyoming
the dirt roads
the tacky souvenirs
We bought some
to represent our own bang and blame
setting them off
watching the air turn explosive
Seeing how two girls could make something turn to smoke and into a pile of nothing
We could do that
and then walk away

I told her the only kiwi-green-colored pie I had tasted like toothpaste
she said it was some kind of mince surprise
but I refused
She chased me with it
launched it
laughed as the cream slid down my face
sticking in my hair
She snapped a photo
a frozen memory
and I wiped some of it off of me and on to her
as the orange glow of sunset and car exhaust filled the horizon
We were goo covered
holding hands in front of that side of the road diner
waving as the world sped by

Before we got to New York we bought a road map
a way home
I guess
All the time we had just followed our whims
but now I saw her wistfulness
her wishing for static cling and rent
the familiar
I tried to hide my teary eyes
my disappointment
I did not want the street signs to end
to point back
I did not want to click my heels for home
ever again

I bought a Gorgeous Grape the Wrestler tee shirt for her boyfriend
he liked it
it seemed
He liked having her back even more
Maybe I thought I could keep her that way
but she always knew her way home
no matter how I tried to make her forget

You Can Sleep While I Drive :: Melissa Etheridge

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