lyrics below in italics are from ‘going to morocco’ by the mountain goats

This never gets easier.
No matter how often it happens —
how glad you are it’s not someone else —
this never gets easier.
It’s terrible every time
and you’re an idiot for crying,
but you do it anyhow.
I’ve been waiting for the call:
my father’s voice at the end of the line,
How are you honey, you got a second…
But it doesn’t soften the blow.
I thought it would.

It’s not the thing itself that bothers you,
it’s the inevitability of the call:
the icy hand at the window,
the icy foot in your step.
It’s my mother’s voice betraying her worry.
It’s that one day,
I’ll be the one to make these calls.

You take my hand and lead me to the car.
You open the door and help me in.
You turn on the engine,
start driving us nowhere,
turn off the music,
watch me talk on the phone.
I’m just trying not to cry.
If this is what maturity is,
I’m hiding in your bed and never coming out.

There’s wetness in my eyes,
tracing lines on my sooty face.
You take my hand and kiss it.
I stutter and choke on my breath.
You touch my face and smile,
and then you begin to sing:

There’s no reason to cry.
There’s no reason to cry.
You can have a seat for a while.
But don’t touch that dial,
’cause there is no reason to cry.

The tears are coming quicker now;
your fingers reach to wipe them away.
I look up for your smile
and see more in your eyes.
You pull the car into a space
and unbuckle just to hold me:
not saying a word,
not pressing for more;
breath coming steady and keeping me close.
Wipe away my fear like you wipe at my eyes.
There’s snot on your jacket now,
but you say you don’t care.

There’s a guttural stop in my throat.
There’s a guttural stop in my throat.
The wind comes in from far and wide.
Sands blow.
Grains collide.
I’m changing inside.
And there’s a guttural stop in my throat.

Somewhere in a distant place,
it hits me that she’s gone.
And the knowledge comes:
I could be next.
My family,
my distant friends,
my everyone.
But you are the epitome of life:
your smile like being born again,
cleaner than I was before.
And in my newfound salvation, I look into your eyes,
and I have never loved anyone more in my life.

Mid-July 2007

© Charlie Pevensie


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