Not like you do

You wander the alley reading poetry from the walls. Every word bleeds into the next, choking you, tears cutting through the cold exterior that you’ve been wearing for weeks now. Memories in the scratches and painted colors, coming alive, pulling you back into the past familiar, the broken heart recollections, the songs you once sang. I watch you from the end of the line, at the gate, in the shadows of all the barbed wire.

Twelve steps could bring you back to me, twelve steps could clean us all.

But instead I stand and watch, sorrow clutching at my chest, cauterizing the tear in my side, playing rattle and roll with my rib cage. My body used to be a carousel of music and magic, but now it feels like a cage, a prison of nostalgia, a horror show of wish I had, and what if’s.

Your eyes are so blue, like a cloudless sky, like the melancholic melody that plays in my dreams. Once they told me secrets, confessions of a once before, trusted between shared cigarettes and soft kisses down my spine. But now you stand and stare, tracing a language with your fingertips, without me, without you.

Frozen, your feet glued to the ground, bootstraps and a badly tuned guitar strapped to your side, as if for battle. Every track on the album will be the death of me, every groove in the record taking blood, stealing pieces of my soul. But I gave it away, didn’t I? Opening a vein and letting all my words spill out on the floor, as the music played, as you sang your song to me.

I want it back. I want the me before you back. I want the innocence that never really was, the wide eyed gaze of a girl in the crowd, singing-a-long, knowing every lyric, ever pause, every chord progression. She pretended to know things, and you, well you took her and took from her, and then let her go. Shivering, cloaked in disarray and disillusioned reality. Black streaks down her cheekbones, but no tears, no all her tears are gone. Washed down the asphalt, circling the storm drains and set off to sea.


Yet here I stand watching you, wishing for you, waiting for you to leave the alley way, and come back to me. See my hands, palms up and life lines crossing. I’ll be the ex to your oh, I’ll be your torrential rain storm, and you can be every star in this smoggy sky.

Let’s start over, ring the bells and howl at the moon. With teeth bared you can become something golden, glittery and rare. Can’t you hear the crowds roar? Do you feel your pulse quicken and your pupils turn into spinning saucers. Like a drug, like legs spread apart, like the burn of whiskey as you drain the bottle dry.

You always loved it when I left red lip marks on the glass, and on the parts of you that no one else could see. Rings of love you called it, when I left my marks on you. Can you feel it now? The tale my tongue paints along the blue lines of veins. Blood only crimson when the air hits it, when the flesh separates, when the knife blade opens you up. Will you open up for me? Let your insides tumble into my lap, past becoming present, all your truths for me to see. If you come here, if you follow me, if you let me love you all over again.

But he calls you back, says he’ll meet you by the last three lines, on the walls, in the alley. So here I find you, reciting rhymes, connecting the dots until it turns from nonsense to the next great page-turner. They will sing your praises now, mark you up on lists, take you along to their beach house getaways, tell all their friends of the great grand guitarist, and all the songs he sings. They’ll forget your name though. Names don’t matter in the end, no, not when you are a poet with holes in your shoes, not when you look like that, talk like that, fuck like that, leave like that.


I turn to go now, turn to run, wishing you’ll come after me, seek me out, save me. But no one saves anyone nowadays. We are too busy lying on couches and sinning to be saved. Heal me up, doc, sew back up my soul. Then I will find you again, tempt you back, tease the next charted wonder from your curious mind.

This is how the muse works, my darling. Ripping you to shreds before all our eyes, turning you inside out, topsy-turvy, now now don’t cry. This is only the beginning. That alley there, it will disappear when you close your eyes, the walls wiped clean, who you once were just a terrible dream. Forget it now. Clean your veins out, wash your mouth, say your name right out loud and whisper start over.

This is the front line, this is the bass line, this is the flip side of Sunset Boulevard. And they said true love never lasts. And they said an ocean apart will just drown us. And they said it will never work. And they said true love never dies. But this is death, isn’t it? Wire and rubble, and the stillness you feel. But this is life, isn’t it? Poetry and a pretty girl.

Yours until the full moon comes back around. Yours until it rains again in Southern California. I’m yours, forever, and never, and right now.

Sour Times :: Portishead

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