sweet sweet melody



you’re just fine and your song is a sweet, sweet melody
and I am not
when I was born, God strung my chest with violin strings,
stretched a drum skin from ear to ear across my neck
and tied my arms and legs up in woodwinds and piano keys
so that when I walked I sounded like a symphony of innocence
and oh the happy song I played
but I’ve long since smashed those instruments
and my chest has filled with brimstone
like all hell is trying to get out
and I’m wondering…

when does a museum of instruments
start sounding like music again?

cause I’ve been trying to make a joyful noise to no avail
so tell me now: how many bad notes do I have to sing?
and how loud do I have to get to shout out all my sadnesses?
and if I call my depression by it’s true name will I finally be okay?
I’ll trade a good day
for some of my anger
but then I worry that if I wasn’t so angry, I wouldn’t have anything left to go on
because I am anchored to the ocean floor
and some days a little rage is the only thing holding out a
hand strong enough to pick me up

and on those days it’s hard to tell the difference between self-destruction and survival
and I’ve grown pretty good at telling myself it’s all perspective
like sometimes a stiff drink and a cigarette
are a flower
and sometimes a stiff drink and a cigarette
are a weed
so tell me: is pushing the sadness away for a moment self-defense or not?

and do you blame me?

publish my letters when I’m gone
but don’t forget to put in the editorial that I was a very private person
and I didn’t want to be remembered for anything anybody didn’t like
I want to try to be positive for you
I take back everything but Push
even this, I’m trying
I’m trying so hard to write happy ones
and I can hear your sweet, sweet melody
but I
play it
and I don’t want you to get my sadness song stuck in your head
I’m sorry

and I’m sorry that one thing leads to another
and that in some ways it’s always been about
my anger–my mom and dad used to say I had to learn self-control or
it would destroy me
well I stopped throwing chairs

…just this last summer

and I don’t rip the pages out of my books anymore
so I must be getting better
but I still know what it feels like to boil
I have been at 211 degrees my whole life
right on the edge

it is so much easier to be angry than sad
so forgive me

I know we’re not all slamming doors
but from the ocean floor everything sounds like drowning
if you are on the surface and your song
sounds like a sweet, sweet melody
play a little closer to me, I’m trying to listen

ignore my clanging cymbals and my grinding teeth
I want to sound like music more than you can imagine