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from Panorama by La Dispute

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I had visions of you wandering alone
Daylight burst against
Printed flowers on your dress

And the sun in your hair
Silver white

I watched you walk
Purposefully along the shoulder of the highway
Indifferent to traffic and it to you
As if neither existed

Alone there like all of us

And the summer colors shone
Bright open fields of goldenrod
The sky soft stone
Sapphire and selenite
Blue lace

Pale white bone in brush
All things to dust return but you keep on

Heading westward quick down Fulton Street
As if a thing beyond compelled you walk now there
And you could not take your eyes away from it

And I could not either

And quickening your pace
Walking in the wind blown backwards toward home
Your face expressionless
You stopped suddenly
Still as carved stone
Waiting for the world to catch up
And I watched you
In awe always
Even in dreams

You raised your arms
Cross-shaped like a monument
Feigning permanence there
Denying her death and yours
And traffic stopped to watch
I knew you’d leave then
Ascending heavenward to breathe
Never in panic again
Peace for you

I carried on in my visions
Tired and lost for years this way
Only half aware of the light
Shining against the dark
Bright until we die

When I die let me do so beside you
When we die let us go at the same time

When the end comes will we see
Bright lights burst through the evergreens?
Feel the blown sand at our ankles or hear rustling needles in the breeze?

Who can know?
If we could choose the way we leave
Fill out circles on a ballot sheet
Vote the way we’ll go
How the noise will cease
Finally and forever for us both
What would we do?
How would we go?

Would we pass out in barracks beneath bedsheets
Brand new sneakers on our feet
Two by two into a comet tail peacefully to sleep
Forever dream?

When will we leave?

Will we all just disappear?
Or can we be hung up in a gallery
Displayed permanently forever with family
Painted in frames?
Variations on a theme

How will we leave?
Cut in threes?
Displayed in glass cases?
Death in the mind of living things?

Can it be quietly?
Like in the morning drinking coffee with the sunrise
Through the lilies in the window of our bedroom to the garden
Or just drift off watching TV
6:30 in the evening and
Never see it coming at all
Or can we live forever here
Be buried in our better memories
Drunk beside that drainage ditch
Road trip east of Denver
The prison in periphery
Life too beautiful too sweet despite everything
Could we choose to stay forever there
And never leave?
How long do I have to fix this?
Years lost too indifferent and afraid
While you burst to earth around me like lightning at night
How’d I miss a thing so bright?
And where does the shame go now if never away?
No one to blame but me
I wanted everything
How’d I fail so badly?

I have visions of you wandering alone down every city street
Light shaded everything at once
And flowers burst against your knees

And you asked for me to leave

Graceful in your sprinting now through all wind
Your skin pale silver lightning the seasons of your grief
But you are free now

And you asked for me to leave

I love you deeply then and now as ever
Never waver once again at all in any timeline I will bend them all
To find you back to breathe
And you asked for me to leave

I will rend from you those dreams
Release the flowers in the street
Burn the monuments in plywood
And ascend there
To be everything you need
I will be everything you need
I will be everything you need
I will be everything you need


from Panorama, released March 22, 2019


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