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Drown me 
Drown me in the river 
And send my body to the ocean


Pull me
Pull me with the currents
Pull me to the wild winds, send me home again, oh


Waves are
Waves are breaking on the shorelines
And all the names I’ve ever borne are


Offered up on frozen winds
To catch in trees with branches bending
To my body, come to rest on roots sunk down into the water—


Bloodlines
Coursing out across the ocean
Take me back, oh take me home—


Wake me, oh
Pull me from the river,
With the whispers ringing in my ears of names and shores
And roots sunk deep
And let me stand. 


 


Music exists for this, but I'm happier with the lyrics, so here they are. 

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The circuits are misfiring.


She starts to speak and I let her words drop into silence; she starts to cry and I turn my back on her tears.


It shouldn’t be like this. There’s supposed to be enough love to last a lifetime, to keep the moon aloft, to do whatever it was the storybooks promised.


She’s seen my soul.


She’s seen my soul, but it’s not enough; her words grate and her touch burns. I pull away sharply, but she’s the one to gasp in pain


and it’s not her fault. She didn’t do anything wrong;


she just lives too intensely, is too intensely; everything she is comes up against me the way water rises in a creek in a rainstorm, threatening to pull me down.


So I fight.


She pulls away, and she’s hurt (again), and even though I’m made for this, made to fix things, to hold and comfort and console, all I feel is nothing.


So I walk away, and from behind me, the broken wires spark in the night.


 


I am impatient and short-tempered, and intolerant of all the things I hate about myself. I can’t stand to be reminded of the person I used to be (clinging and needy and desperate and drowning). I want her to be strong and independent (and compliant and unexceptional); I want her to stay quiet and calm, I want to make her less of everything she is.


I want to make her less whole.


How dare I? How fucking dare I?


 


I don’t know how to reconcile what I want with who she is. I don’t know how to get close enough to touch without getting swept away.


So I leave her in someone else’s arms, and I climb the mountain alone. Maybe we’ll meet again at the top. We’ll close our eyes and sit together in the silence, dreaming a single dream the way we did one afternoon in the autumn sunlight, the day she saw into my soul.


Maybe I’ll learn to embrace the water, letting it rush up my body and pull me under, trusting that I’ll find my feet again.


But for now, I go on alone.

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Fitch's covered bridge. Delhi, NY

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Christian Church at Fitch's Bridge, through the covered bridge itself. Delhi, NY. 

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They told me, stay out of the woods


there’s wolves out there, and strangers, dear,


and wouldn’t you be safer by the fire?


 


They told me to learn every word


and take it all as gospel, and that


it would keep me safe here in the dark.


 


They told me if I could just be


perfect, now, in every step, I’d please the gods


and then I would be free.  


 


They told me that I had failed


and now the walls were caving in


and no one else could see me buried there.


 


They told me that this could be fixed


if I drew thin red lines like railroad ties


up and down my arms until I bled. 


 


And so I bled.


 


And when I came up for air


I saw them all for liars


in the light—


 


Liars.    


 


They told me it never would end


but hurricanes spin out and earthquakes still


and I know I will breathe again.


 


I will breathe again.


 


 


___________________________


Music forthcoming. -SoE

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A message appears: Let's try this again. Tears in my eyes, and breathless hope. A chance to go back in time. To start anew.


Of course, we won't. There are 8 years' worth of miles between here and 16, when we met, still mostly broken but aching for more. To be broken together, and to make ourselves whole.


We get another chance to stay. To keep this light from fading. I'll get on a train and I'll step out in the City, and I'll bite my lip and fill my lungs and say... what?


Hello.


And I'll mean,


I've missed you.


And I'll mean,


Let's go back to before. Not to 16 (because we've grown and we're whole - scarred, but whole, and we can't give that up), but to the time when you knew my thoughts, finished my sentences, laughed in a way that defeated my fear; brought me new places, holding my hand, pulling me along, bass pounding in my chest, overtaking my heartbeat. When we reminded each other how good it was to be alive. Can we have that back? Or has it been too long? 


But I suppose we should start with


Hello.

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"And with that, I present to you... Anna Livingston!"


The curtain opens. She can't even see the audience; they're all one dark mass behind the too-bright lights. Her hands are shaking. They shouldn't be shaking. She knows it by heart. Except for that bit in dress rehearsal; the bit that fell apart. Damn it, Anna. Don't think about that part. Anything but that part.


They're waiting. They'd been shifting in their seats before the curtain came up, shifting through the emcee's words, as if nothing he could say was worth stilling for, not the cell phone announcement or the fire exit announcement or the for-the-love-of-god-take-your-crying-baby-out-of-here announcement. Her music, though-- that's worth stilling for. Worth hearing.


This was a terrible idea. No one needs to hear her. Sometimes she likes to pretend that she's something special, when she's alone in her house and playing for no one except the ghosts. Then, she thinks that maybe she's worth hearing. This, though? It's too much. And why did they have to put her first? She supposes it's some sort of compliment. Start us out with a bang.


They're waiting. Her right foot's on the pedal, but her hands are still on the piano bench, stretched out to the sides, pulling toward her fancy black skirt and then pushing away. Her hands are shaking. Fuck, her hands are shaking. She flicks her fingers a few times. It doesn't help.


One more glance into the blinding lights. It's time. Fingers to keys, and one last breath.


She plays.


 


_________________


And... that's 10! This is fun. I should do this every week.

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I was messing around with old hymns and came up with this. I have no idea what to call it, but it's in 8.7.8.7., so there you go. As for the Inner Workings bit, I took the front panel off of my piano in an unsuccessful attempt to fix a stuck hammer and decided that it looked pretty snazzy.


I have a high-def version of this, but I figured it would take forever to upload, even though it's short-- let me know if you want it. :-)

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Matched to Joe's reading.

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Today, I drove the Catskills in the pouring rain,
leaving behind the ephemera of the valley--
fading paint and rusting cars and barns fallen down to kindling
(now too soaked to set alight)--
to go up into the mountains, above the clouds,
and I wanted nothing so much as to stay there, lost in the woods,
among bare trees and rising streams and old stone walls,
somewhere out of time.

Coming home, the sky came down
with fog as thick as the sea,
and I sailed underwater in the solstice dusk
through trees silhouetted in the sunless sky.
There are no stars nor moon tonight;
the clouds hang low, catching the smoke, filling up the valley.
Tomorrow, the sun will rise up over our houses on the riverbanks,
but for tonight, I am alone, underwater in the sky.

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In amid the wildflowers
they've planted windchimes for her;
their silver roots reach down
to touch her name and bear it up (to the sun).


 


I've had thesherbethead's remix of Passerby on repeat since I discovered it last night. This is what came out of it.

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