Shattered moonshine; sometimes I want to leave
because I just don't know how to feel real again.
Sometimes, all I see when I look in the mirror is a pair
of round teddy-bear brown eyes that no longer gleam innocent.
And most of all; I see anger streaked across my cheekbones,
jaw-line, like cursed Mississippi rivers.
Yeah, who knew I was plucked from my hometown by a slew of
chatter-box angels, all babbling about the Big Easy;
all the fun things I could do there, all the beauty
I could see like handsome fellas; pieces of sweet,
ripe persimmon temptation, Mardi Gras flower-bombs..
Yeah, who knew I'd be on a bus in no time; riding through
cotton-fields, past old gas stations,
leaving my old sheltered life behind?
But I did, boy; I ran away, barely eighteen and
I found you on a street corner in New Orleans.
Yeah, it was a magical city..
It was crazy, wild and free.
Back then, at least; I thought I had found
the outcast's version of a Promise-land.
Oh it was true; I wasn't so naïve,
had already experienced pain.
In my own hard-knock way, I was a survivor.
But people didn't see that,
unfortunately, when they first met me.
All they saw were my southern-born features;
my apple pie-stained lips and assumed I was
as clean as a snow-rabbit's fur.
Oh but darling; surprisingly, I wasn't..
I've seen hate in my mother's face..
That's right, you think a woman can't be cruel?
Babe, you should take a walk down my Memory Lane.
You should see the scars on my body at star-fall.
You should see the marks of shame.
She disowned me because I told her I never wanted
to stay home, marry a prom queen.
She cursed me, saying heaven would
never take someone so damaged and
believe it or not; not even the most damned
and forbidden of swear-words were as painful
to hear because a little piece of me
died the night she slapped my cheek.
The night she put me out of the house with the cats,
I can tell you this; my trust in that woman, belief
that a parent's love is unconditional, faded away.
I was lost but too angry to admit it..
Friend, I charged into town; a war-horse
wanting to trample over everything,
wanting to strike fear in the hearts of
frail romantics, star-crossed musicians.
Boy, I wanted to make people hurt because
I was only too familiar with that feeling.
“So inevitable, unchanging; it never goes away..”
That's what I thought when you came to me.
But you changed that, I'm happy and terrified to say.
It's such a strange feeling; a weird thing,
to be anchored down when
you're so used to floating away.
Yeah, robin-eyed boy; I was a balloon,
ashen gray with no string.
Then you came along; just a chance encounter,
a walk in the park, and pulled me down.
But at first, I was wary of
your charismatic grin, even though
I couldn't wait to experience
my first reciprocated crush on a boy.
Oh I couldn't wait to go out dancing
with the same electric, magnetic sex;
know what it's like to rest my head on his chest,
feel his strong hands gripping my hip-bones
as jazz swirled in the background, filled
the atmosphere with Top Ten freedom lullabies.
“Oh you're such a chicken, plucked from your mama's nest”;
that's how you teased me, friend; saying sweet, annoying
things like: “You're so creme-fresh, a Milky Way starling."
And you know I was just kidding when I pushed you up
against a wall, said in a mock-warning tone,
“Say that again, boy..”
And “What?” you asked me,
that stupid smile on your face.
“What are you going to do about it,
my bad-ass angel wings?
Hate to break it to you; but you're still
so True-Blue, starry-eyed
but reckless when you dream.”
And it was amazing how you knew me so well
after such a short time,
hanging out in back-door speakeasies;
rooftop gardens and cafes,
reading escapist novels and
discussing them like dorks all day.
But it was my little piece of Utopia, boy;
being there with you, when all I knew was
neglect and school-house hopes.
“Give me more time..”
I wanted to tell the angels when they came,
took your body away.
I tried to save you, give you a street-wise
antidote; a taste from my wrist, in vain.
But it didn't work because
I was a couple seconds too late.
And now what do I have in this city
but a luckless memory; a few
empty bottles of satin-red bourbon,
stale moonshine, broken records and
Tell me, midnight-walker;
what do I have, now that you're gone?
Nothing, that's what.. “Don't say that!”
Maybe in another life, you'd scold me.
But in this Jabberwocky-run checkered world,
what does it matter, boy?
I'm lost again but this time, it's worse
because I've seen paradise.
And all I can remember now is how
when we first met, I doubted
the wildflowers in your rib-cage,
thought they were overgrown.
But you taught me how to trust, my cosmic-faith,
made me feel alive again.
So how fucked-up is it
that now I'm all alone?
The past is harsh; the present cruel, friend,
and the future is dark..
You were my sun so if there's a way to run,
keep going until I fade into a meaningless scenery;
I would because, hell, it's worth a shot.
But “You were meant for better things”
you told me once and somehow, I don't
want to let you down; completely, at least.
I couldn't be there to catch you so if
I can help someone else; someone like you stranded
out there, would you forgive me if I tried?
This is for all the sleepless boys who just want to be loved.
This is in memory of your silver stare;
your beautiful, heartbreaking lie..
Blood and moonshine;
you brought me out of my shell,
boy, threw me into a thrilling
hurricane of emotion; freedom, music,
ice-glazed skin, sepia-on-white.
And now I can honestly say I'm done hiding,
can finally leave my sheltered self behind
on a little crooked bridge over
that haunted mossy swamp.
Boy, after losing you,
I'm not afraid of anything human.
This night-core city can't hold me down,
can't terrify me with its wild gaze,
wicked lights; loud, out-of-this-world noise,
because maybe I'm one of
the fallen ones, as well.
Maybe as dark as I am, I'm still pure to some
angel above or demon down below.
And I know you wouldn't like this analogy,
You once told me, “You're not broken
just because a few people didn't know how
to love the devastatingly
unique fire in your eyes.
And you shouldn't have to hide that glow,
that mesmerizing shine.”
Oh it's funny, boy, how you believed in me that much.
It's puzzling; your admiration of my talent
for jumping over picket fences,
but now what do I have left of 1989?
Boy, even though I don't understand it;
I'd take your bold, affectionate smile any day..
I sprinkle sage all over your grave;
whisper your name, just in case
there are any ghosts who need some encouragement.
They can rest easily now,
knowing you're in a better place,
friend; knowing love is love,
no matter who you are,
no matter where you've been.