Empty City

by Dave Rideout

it’s been dark for hours,
i just wish i could find some rest
instead i’m walking the city
looking to clear my head
it’s like i haven’t seen anyone for days
in a lot of ways, i guess that’s how i like it

there’s been a lot on my mind
and these empty streets got me thinking
there must be more to this life
than just trying to make it through

i walk like my heart’s whole
but when it comes out in the wash
pale and hollow
cold water filling up the sink
face pressed down underneath
gut wrenching on the drink
like the sum of these parts don’t matter

i’ve been here for so long
and i feel like i’ll never change

let’s go back several years, ship sinking,
i’m drinking, she’s drinking,

imbibition meant no inhibitions
we were vicious, i was listless
didn’t know what i was missing
i’d been gone for so long by then

a few more back, i was livin lonely,
chest heavy with a heart that’s frozen
but even before, all i wanted to say
would instead always be stored
deep in my core
somewhere i’d ignore

where it’d start to shape-shift
send chills across my skin
that crept like a sickness
through sad songs about suffering

i’m sorry for coming all this way
while really staying put
i know it’s hard you

but i’m tryna get my head right
no ‘left for dead’, right?
we’re thick and thin right?
i need to hear it again
that you think i can win