I remember when we sat, four delirious hours
talking philosophy, avoiding sophistry
making a way for the earth out of the darkness
we started cold and rational, I turned hot, emotional
I probed you, trying to know why shadows grow,
you hammered me, and when I glowed and sizzled,
dipped me in a cool bath.
And the only time I saw you burn, you burned with fear
and shook but hid it well; a fear of backwards hell
Then the most I wanted just to hide the world
and make you one where you’d be safe.
I’d walk with you, through midnight bars
and rusty cars; I could, I could! make just the place
where you’d never fear that death was here.
But I would be alone with you, never far but never near
for the sign that hangs upon your neck.
“Do not enter, do not come, you just cannot be the one
You cannot face me in the night, not a tiger burning bright
A smile, perhaps, a wave, a drink, but not the key
I am blind with second sight, a different way to see
We can laugh and play and dream and frolic through the world
but I am wired differently, for you I cannot be.”
We never smiled or laughed or cried or gave up suit and tie
for jeans and beer and pizza, or watched our terrors die
But at the end of all the things that never came to be
I found this thing, a little bird, and then I set it free.