I am afraid that the next thing I give
Will be the last thing I had left.
I don’t exactly have an inventory.
I haven’t checked in recently
To see how my stocks are doing.
I put my money on the wind
And the howling wolves
And the impossible way that two people’s bodies
Fit together sometimes.
I am afraid that I do not have enough left
That is just me,
That came from something that I am.
I worry that every time I open my eyes and ears
I breathe in other peoples’ lives
And other peoples’ stories
And now when I let something out
My stories and theirs get jumbled
Like the air in our dead end lungs.
And every kiss I give to you
Is a thousand words
That I can no longer say
And every wink is a painting that I won’t finish.
Every word I let go
Is another that I can’t have for myself.
I don’t want to be selfish
I want to be able to give it away,
But I have seen too many women that I loved
Give themselves to people
Who collected all of their kisses and words in greedy fists
And never gave anything back.
I want to keep the unloveable,
Untamable, inimitable part of me
Close and secret.
So that when you break my heart
I won’t have to limp away
Missing a leg,
Missing an exit strategy,
Trying to fill the hole
Head and Shoulders, knees and toes
That's the way the story goes
Here is something no one knows
To lepers...it's important
It's the inventory song
You may think that this is wrong
Put me back where I belong
But, lepers need to do this
Count your digits 'fore you leave
It's a fact you must believe
They're not out for to deceive
They need to inventory
If they count and all is there
They face the world without a care
They lose their parts, but not their hair
Their day will be successful
Head and Shoulders, Knees and toes
That's the way the old song goes
I've got four fingers and six toes
I guess I'll put some gloves on
The inventory song is neat
It teaches them, they need two feet
Or they can't walk down the street
It really is important
Gripping things is kind of tough
When digits...you've not enough
You know your fingers' with your stuff
You'll go and find it later
So, if you think that this is wrong
And you do not like this song
Put me back where I belong
I think this song's a service
Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes
I've a friend with half a nose
Now you know what no one knows
Inventory is required.
Though phantoms may be howling at the edges of my mind
Ripping away gobs of flesh until my soul lies exposed
Rotting off my skull, hanging loose from my tired bones
Whilst the terrifying multitude of my unseen fear
Hath become like the vile, gnashing teeth of night's Reaper
As I bare witness to the demons rising and writhing
Within the silver pool of my own lean, haunted reflection
Yet I cannot turn away; Even in my darkest hour
I must summon the courage to stay; For this is my reckoning.
If only I were a clerk
sent by some company
to inventory you.
I would be very
Toes to nose,
thighs to eyes,
hips to lips,
north to south:
would I overlook.
protocol would require me
to kiss, taste or touch
each lovely portion
for quality control.
Yes, I would be
That is a job
I could love.
Good work is hard to find these days...
— The End —