Clear Water

sister got a job tending the bar out at Red Lobster
said you asked about me, wondered when I would drop by
so I ordered up a pint as she called back into the kitchen
& out you walked in your red apron & your tongue ring & your tie
well introductions all around, I'd like you all to meet my friend
he's a writer, he's a liar who I've known since I was ten
he wrote a poem about me & I loved him for his mind
but didn't see this fairy tale was not the ever after kind
you faced down your stepmother as I languished in my tower
waiting for the day when we'd both come into our power
you were not the warrior prince & I was not the royal daughter
but we waded into these shallows anyway
in clear water

you came & went like meteors, made a home where you could find it
drawn back into my orbit like an errant comet knight
you fought me like a sister & I loved you like a brother
because the point was arguing, not knowing we were right
remember how we used to blow off class to go play Magic
trade comic books & videos & revel in the tragic
til you fed me stolen candy, told me it would be okay
it's just a couple months before this town's behind us anyway
then you wrapped your arms around her, you were right, it didn't matter
soon we'd all be free & famous & get gone but never scatter
unaware of what it meant we both looked forward to the slaughter
to the drop we knew we'd hit, we'd sink or swim
in clear water

now you say Orth moved up to Somerset, he's living with his father
so you don't really see all that much of him these days
way back when the two of you were just like Jay & Silent Bob
& he was the star of every song that I played
well, Josh & Angie broke up but he's still just chasing Amy
my ex is getting married to some girl he met at gaming
the Army threw out Mikey, that's the last of him you've seen
& Damian still bags groceries between nightly games of D&D
but no one's talked to Rhinehart since he moved to California...
& that's when you looked up & said, "I didn't mean to bore you"
I said no, it's good to hear, and that I never have forgot her
while I thought these are just other lives washed away
by clear water

we stared back at each other & you nodded & I smiled
& I realized my mistake as you sank down into your yearning
I was trying to apologize & you said it was great to talk
but you gotta get away because the steaks are burning
& I thought about Wyoming as I watched you walk away
they sent a rescue party but just broke down halfway
so no one ever saw you sitting in the wreckage of your car
cradling the body of the one who got you that far
now you turn to wave goodbye & I know I shall know you no more
I am fresh and you are salt now, crashing on some distant shore
since the day a deeper current tumbled in & blithely caught her
like the rapids that swept me out into a sea
of clear water

There is nothing I want to say about this song
except that if your presence in it offends you,
please tell me so and it will disappear as quickly as it appeared.

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