Have you ever told a lie
so convincing that you ended up
believing it yourself?
Almost as if your reality became the lie that you told
and anything that was the truth was forgotten.
Like a dream you once had but began to forget after you woke up?
But once something triggers you to remember the smallest detail
of that dream, like the way your collarbones did,
or the way that everything is always
closer than it appears to be,
the truth all comes fading back
in vague waves.
A déjà vu that you've tried to forget
but every time that you do …
you feel like you've already forgotten it before.
I’m about to tell you a lie...
And all that I ask is that you believe it like I did.
It will make the waves a lot
easier to drown in once you remember the truth.
And maybe once you remember the truth you’ll
remember that you've already drowned here before.
This year is fading out into a new one
but nothing’s really changed.
The sun rises and sets
but every day is the same as the last two combined.
It makes me wonder what God would say to me
if he had the nerve to speak to me like he did Adam.
Would he apologize for the time when he had
the rain wash off all the kisses you ever placed on me,
or would he try justifying himself for the times
he made a fifteen-hundred foot drop seem like
the curbs we used to play on and construct dams in to watch
the hose water build up,...
like we could, maybe, just maybe,
form our own oceans and sail away from our childhoods.
Yet for some reason no matter how hard we tried
there were always leaks and holes we could never quite fill.
I learned this year that names
are just apologies you attach to people
so you can remember the hurt they caused
you every time you hear one,
and voices are nothing more than the same voice mail
you've heard a thousand times
when you call but they never picked up
Yet at the same time…
they always seem to answer your question of
If they’re there to comfort you in your time of need.
Because they promised you that they
would stay but they never really made it clear
if what they meant to say was that they would stay away.
Next year make sure you never believe
someone when they tell you who they are
or what their intentions are.
Those will be the first lies they tell you.
The next lie they will tell you
is that they know how you feel,
and the lie after that will always be
that they are different from everyone else.
The last lie they will tell you…
is that they will stay.
But you've already heard these lies before.
I’m not sure who I learned this from,
but make sure the next time someone
tries to convince you to care for them
you turn around and drive away
because they won’t care for you in return.
Don't you dare look back in that rear view mirror on your exit route either,
because no matter how hard you try to distance yourself
Objects in the past will always be closer than they appear.
it was you who taught me that
and it wasn't until I was
1,488 feet down the road that I realized
how I’d already been here before.
I knew all the names of the roads around your
house like the streets were trying to apologize
for a sin that I swear had been committed before.
And like Lot's wife, I sometimes felt the need to look back
but I knew **** well that if I ever did
I would become a petrified
“I never meant for it to end this way.”
And I only know this
because I've already looked back before.
Remember how we promised each other we would
never become the people who we are now?
Yet here we sit,
Cigarette ashes and empty bottles.
Burning our pipe dreams away and drinking to our sorrows.
It makes me wonder how it all went so wrong,
yet at the same time I was right there.
I watched Rome burn to the ground
and all I did was thank you and Nero for the violin music
you provided as I drowned in the ashes
of what we could have been and never were.
Make sure you remember that Rome wasn't built in a day,
but also remember all it took was one night to burn it down.
This year taught me to never
let anyone borrow one of your books
because after they've read all of your good parts
they'll skip to the ending and leave your plot with leaks and holes
that you'll attempt to patch up as you drown once more.
And most of the time they won’t give you your book back.
You'll stay up at night in a cold sweat wondering what markings you
abandoned in its pages that you'll never be able to read again.
and they just aren't worth losing a part of yourself too.
You know the thing that really bugs me is that
you can only follow your dreams after you've
woken up from them,
but every time that I wake up I’m stuck forgetting
every detail and inch of your flawless skin.
The way that your collarbones cut through my soul
and left me begging for you to pull every last one
of my ribs apart
make sure that when you do you don't stop until
you hear them snap and break apart leaving holes that
I can vainly try to fill before I drown in my own
blood that I swear has been split before.
Tear me apart so you can see my defective heart
beating for you
and secretly I wonder
if maybe tearing apart my ribcage
would release all the demons
trapped inside this empty heart of mine.
and thinking of the plans we had to move
away into some big city
and to never look never look back at this town,
excite me still because I know it will still happen
but it won’t be you who I’m running away with this time.
Our pasts will always stay closer than
they appear to be.
And do you remember how we were going to cover our
apartment walls in broken records
and coffee stains?
I seem to always forget how you were
never really worth it from the start
and how I was only confused to wake up
from this dream because
I never actually fell asleep.
And as I look back on this year...
I guess nothing's really changed.
The year fades out like the truth
after we've believed our own lies,
and the new year introduces itself with
all the same lies they told you.
And what ever year this is know that its number
is just an apology set for a later date
and that no matter how this year
promises it will be different than the last,
don’t believe it because,
And don’t trust it when it says it’s here to stay,
because you've already heard that lie before.
This year be careful about who you say you won’t become
because chances are you’re already them.
and no matter how fast you try to drive away from your past
just remember that objects in the rear view mirror
are closer than they appear
and that no matter how hard you try to build a dam
so we can sail away from our adulthood
there will always be leaks and holes
we will never quite be able to fill.
I hope you believed this lie like I did
because it’s the truth.
And whatever the truth was
is now lost to this lie.
And the only thing I learned this year was...
We become the lies we tell ourselves.
So I guess the only real question is
what lies are you going to tell?
Because once you become those lies
the person you were before you told them is lost.
But you already know all of this.
You've already heard these lies before.
Here is a link to the spoken word copy of this poem: