Bold lines credit to Empty by Ray LaMontagne
She lifts her skirt up to her knees, walks through the garden rows with her bare feet, laughing. That child in me lies sheltered under the eaves of country summer and the in the subtle shadow of fire-fly light. I embrace her still with my toes in the mud and a gleam in my eye. I wonder if there's a beaten path to get back to that place where the simple pleasure of grass on your skin is enough to fuel optimism for weeks? Maybe (you) never learned to count your blessings. You choose instead to dwell in your disaster. I see me standing on that countryside hill, knees dirty and scabbed from a will too strong to contain, hair whipping around my face, chased by a wind carrying on it's back the gentle smell of jasmine. (I'd give anything to be 10 again.) I reach back to those summers spent in sun and shade, alternating rest and play, and I take the hand of that little girl so lonely, so confused. I walk down the hill through grass, grown tall and brown and still it's hard somehow to let go of my pain. On past the busted back of that old and rusted Cadillac that sinks into this field, collecting rain. Will I always feel this way? So empty, so estranged?
There's a quiet time between the high noon of 19 and the high, full moon of 23 when things grow dark and decayed, and stand about mildewing in the puddles of tears that once christened your most loved dreams. No one warns us about that time, how desperate and distant that child of 10 can be. No one writes newsletters warning of depression and anxiety and sorrow so deep that years spent at the well can't run it dry. Of these cut-throat busted sunsets, these cold and damp white mornings I have grown weary. And on the dawn of my 26th year, I have a thousand words for you, and not one that would truly illuminate this path for you that I know you're doomed to follow me down. If through my cracked and dusted dime-store lips I spoke these words out loud, would no one hear me? There's a bond in our blood that cannot be defeated, and still I have nothing in my arsenal that will prepare you for what's to come.
I find my rest and ease at night, in the peace of the space between your arms reserved for my heat alone. Lay your blouse across the chair, let fall the flowers from your hair and kiss me with that country mouth, so plain. Outside the rain is tapping on the leaves. To me it sounds like they're applauding us the quiet love we've made. Your skin gives me a strength to pass through walls that once have made me weary. I've traveled up and down the line looking for something that shines out past the grey dimness of these days. I looked my demons in the eyes, laid bare my chest, and said "Do your best, destroy me. You see, I've been to hell and back so many times I must admit you kind of bore me." I've been given a place to retreat to escape the sudden defeat that threatens to crucify the chances that I gave. You are that place
There's a lot of things that can kill a man,
there's a lot of ways to die.
Listen, some already did that walked beside me.
There's a lot of things I don't understand,
why so many people lie.
It's the hurt I hide that fuels the fire inside me.
Will I always feel this way?
So empty, so estranged?