I. LEARNING TO UNSEE 

I learned to unsee you until the thought of seeing you terrified me

Because seeing you meant others, seeing me, terrified

And I didn’t want to scare, so the more I unsaw of you the more worthy I became

Until the pain of hiding you until my body ached felt safer, more righteous

than the pain I might risk if I dared to look at you

Until I learned to feign desire, feign contentment, feign peace

I tricked myself into believing I was seeing all there was to see of me

Maybe it was others who taught me to unsee you, 

but it was still me who chose every day that you weren’t there.

 

Even though I know that you are here

you are a fragment of a strange light

growing brighter and brighter in the back of my head

But I fear that if I look at you for more than an instant

I will destroy this world I have built

Stand alone, hearing only the sound of my breath

But something here needs to be destroyed, 

something needs to be rewritten, reshaped, reformed, remade, and remembered

So why can’t I see you? Why do I insist on not seeing you? 

II. CHANTING BLESSINGS

I’m afraid to sing again 

Every time I try my mouth closes shut

Are my melodies worth singing 

If they just refuse to be sung? 

 

I used to sing without asking 

I used to sing love songs to secret gods

I sang with desire 

I sang with the force of the earth 

 

But they told me that I sang too loud 

They told me that I frightened with my sinful songs

So I tried to sing more gently 

But I lost my voice

 

Now even though I’m petrified 

I’m breaking this curse:  

I’m earning to sing again 

I am chanting blessings as my mouth unthaws

I am chanting blessings as my mouth unthaws

 

I am chanting blessings as my mouth unthaws

I’m recalling my love songs, my strength, and my desire 

I am chanting blessings as my mouth unthaws

I’m learning to sing again 

 

So if you tell me to sing more gently 

Know that I’ll come back even louder than before 

With this music locked inside of me 

I want to sing louder and louder than ever before 

 

I am chanting blessings as my mouth unthaws

I’m recalling my love songs, my strength, and my desire 

I am chanting blessings as my mouth unthaws

I’m learning to sing again

III. WILD PINK

Black leather, calm midnight sea 

Pink velvet, sweet poison peony

Wild in leather, pretty in pink 

I am always free

 

Unshaved skin, warm gravel shores 

Smooth long hair, soft rain that pours

No matter what they may see

I am always free

 

Bare eyelids, ocean-smoothed stones 

Red-dyed lips, burning half-suns 

Pretty in leather, wild in pink

I am always free

 

Thick sweater, like a forest canopy 

Tight mini dress, like a tightly woven cocoon 

Thin tattoo, like a fossilized spider

I’m always free, I’m always free

IV. GO WHERE THE ROAD ENDS

Go where the road ends 

When the sun has set 

And the twilight’s bright 

Take nothing with you 

Let your eyes ignite 

 

Go where the road ends 

To that abandoned wall

Smothered in vines

You said you’d come back soon

But you haven’t found the time

 

Go where the road ends 

Though it may look as if 

The wall is blocked 

Put your hands upon the vines 

And feel the words they spell

 

Go where the road ends 

The vines will say 

That this is not the end 

That the road keeps going,

And going, and going, and going 

 

Behind the vines there is an opening 

Behind your eyes there is a light 

Open the wall you’ve illuminated 

Reach into it and enter the night

 

Go where the road ends 

Go as deep was you can go 

’Til I don’t hear you anymore

’Til I don’t hear you anymore

V. FOREST DEEP

Forest deep

When I was a child I thought I heard you say my name 

With my ear against your roots I would hear you speak,

You speak, you speak, you speak, you speak—of me? 

 

Forest deep

When I was a child there were times I became you

When I closed my eyes my limbs would turn to branches 

And out of those branches, those branches, those branches, 

grew, grew, grew—grew me?

 

Forest deep

When I was a child I thought you needed me 

Your rain would come and I would see myself melting into 

Some blue spirit trickling down to your floor

And nurturing your roots, your roots, your roots, your roots—for me?

 

Forest deep

When I was a child I saw no danger in you 

I would venture deeper and deeper and deeper and when

When I became lost I always came back, back, back, back—to me? 

 

What was you said to me? 

I return to you, I close my eyes 

Lose myself just to find you again

But I hear too much, I hear nothing at all