KILL THE LIGHTS

it's bright white
won't you kill the lights
retrace steps
moving right then left

blown the leaves
see the swingset swings
everyday pulled down like paper shades

damn the day
how it hurts to leave a trace
miles conspire to erase
but i still see your face

majesty, threadbare beauty
no where town
clotheslines blown down

oh!
backways by the trains
the sky spills the last grim light
shadows roll from my feet
like bolts of fine black silk

pale birds
there where the heart was
come close and they fly

MADE UP MY MIND

i watch it turn darker
and green grass
bent over in prayer
another's kiss
feels heavy handed
another's kiss, is wasted on me

i've made up my mind
made up my mind
darlin', there's no one can save us
the lord hasn't made us, after all

the wind's violence
labors against it's will and weight
and though it can blow
it can't change

i've made up my mind
made up my mind
darlin', there's no one can save us
the lord hasn't made us, after all

HARM

i just wanted
the curve of your shoulder
pressed between the pages of a book
i just wanted
to sleep beneath the surface of the water
just once

i just wanted
to drink a cupful of your tears
i just wanted
to sleep beneath the surface of the water
just once

and that's all
i swear that's all
i didn't mean you any harm

(for R. Tachoires)

THE WEIGHT

all night running
caught between stations
i've found sometimes a shimmer of love

like a locket with us inside it will we ever leave this town?
you are my north star
my shimmer of love
found between the pulled triggers and the sirens

the film of light on your shoulder
the weight of your body in the bed
simple as stone

you are my north star
my shimmer of love
found between the pulled triggers and the sirens

SMALL BIRDS

sleep, oh
sleep, don't make another sound
winter flashes on the fields like home movies

sleep, oh
sleep, bright in the sky you are
small birds thrown towards the naked moon like stones

there in the cold
there in the fields
there is a bright light shining
can you see it?

there in the cold
there in the fields
there is black bell ringing
can you hear it?
can you hear it?

bom bom bom!
bom bom bom!

THE BALLAD OF PAPER SHIPS

on this night
parting like oyster shells, the clouds

on this night
I see us riding through the cornfields
cradled in your arms

on this night
i lay my burden down
to sink or to sail
wishing boats farewell

on this night
memories like bits of paper
blown around the streets at night
ghosts casting nets until the morning light

so, so close
so close, we rocked like boats anchored
to go, to sail with abandon
on this night

on this night
I've played my last good song
so turn the record player on

AVE MARIA

ghost light
and the street lights turn on
and the moon
reads this days last rights
and it's you that i think of
when the girls sing

hallelujah, maria, maria

all the blame
drives the doves away
and i saw it coming

hallelujah, maria, maria

and the clouds turn dark
outside your kitchen window
and the clouds sail by in the shapes of ships
to carry you away

hallelujah, maria, maria

(for Elliott Smith)

THE 4TH OF JULY

let's not be caught up inwards
let's not be anything but free

ocean city on the 4th of july
to call your name with the sky raining down