Something I Keep

from by Matthew Houston

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I can almost still smell it,
Faint as a glance passing by unexpected
And rolling something in my gut.

It's a piece I shouldn't have.
An impossible sense from an impossible person.

I almost see her those last times handing it to me.

I can't I can't I can't I can't

I try to remember, to see her clearly, to use windex on this memory.

And I get that awful taste in my head,
And I remember I don't like these memories,
And I run over stupid shit I've said
Trying to think when I saw her last
And I'm drawing a blank
But I know it wasn't beautiful, I know it wasn't glorious.

My heart's being awfully silent
While my brain just can't stop yelling,
Posing so many possibilities and
They're all so demanding and
I'm frozen between them
Trying to offload all this shame.
I turn against my poor heart, I put it down and
Then I turn against my brain.

I attack it with my fists, with beers, and sad pop songs.
I want it ringing with the stinging of the heat my hands lay on -
The heat that swells up when you're drinking but too quickly will be gone.

And so this cold skull is remaining
And I put my headphones on
And I hear Joni Mitchell
Singing about getting her gorgeous wings on.
And she says that she'll be flying,
But the melody falls down.


from Seven Songs, released February 6, 2016



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