The thing you have to understand about my parents is this; at some things, they were very, very, good. And at some things, they were very bad.
At certain moments around my family everything crumbles. We are laughing and joking and I feel the frantic eruption inside; invisible, I am desperate for someone to see me. We all hoist this buoyant mood, puffing at it like a balloon we can't let near the ground; this is our shield. If it drops--we don't talk or think about that. Keep puffing.
I become crass and obnoxiously loud. Someone, someone, someone someone someone look. Believe me. Justify my existence. With strangers, you can think someday they might understand; not so here. If the charade breaks, I will not be safe; in this place I am not real, not a person. At best collateral damage.
I used to read stories of escape and survival; my side of the mountain, the girl who owned a city, every apocalypse yarn. Now I read about monsters.
What we all might do, to be seen.
When we hid out behind the risers at the high school
Working bitter calculations with a slide rule
The grim particulars of poisoning the swimming pool
The way you looked me in the eye,
ready to die.
We were becoming what we are
When we chewed up children's Tylenol like bubblegum
Till our hearts were beating deep and rich as kettle drums
We knew if we waited long enough the change would come
And then the day did come, and at last
Catch lightning in a jar
Told you to load up on provisions
We wouldn't be back for a while
Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag
Turn toward the camera and smile, smile, smile
When we ditched the plan to poison all our enemies
Tucked our weapons in a clearing, and covered them with leaves
We are gonna come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaths one day
Well we are on our way
You can look
But you won't find
Another love like ours
-the mountain goats