1. Careful Who You Worship

At 18 I took my first wife,
at 19 I settled for the celibate life

2. Long Lake

On the day I left the camp,
I walked down to the lake
with a renewed sense of purpose
and stripped down to the waist.

And it was sad and splendid
when they all came out to cheer
a thousand camp counselors and kids and you
watched me shake with fear.

3. Catholic

Big dome above me, of stars in the sky, in a Catholic school parking lot off 1-95.

Tell me you love me
take me home tonight.
Tell me you'll hold me
and keep me at your side.

Bad pop on the radio, your shirt's on the floor. And though you've won this battle, I'll win the war.
Raindrops on the window make freckles on your skin from the harsh frigid street lamps burning through them.

and you

Tell me you love me,
take me home tonight.
Tell me you'll hold me,
keep me at your side.
I don't trust your intent,
and you don't trust mine,
so please tell me you'll love me
and take me home tonight

4. Lover's Body

(imagine the sunset in New England)

5. Ben Gibbard

Mile markers flashing in and out of headlights on this Pennsylvania highway, and I am not alone, with this case of burnt CDs beside me. If I should not make it through this night, may the music bind me to something, make me whole tonight.

Why is it I can't express myself to your face without the phrases of those who came before me?

One more thing written down word-for-word in a marble notebook: "I want to trace the map of blue veins under your skin, down white mountains, across the wide plain of your flattened your stomach, past little lakes and patches of vitiligo, silhouettes of silos," and you're guiding me home.

Drinking gin won't make me fancy, clever turns of phrase won't make smart. Singing sweetly won't make me Ben Gibbard and self-consciousness won't make this art. I want to fuck up every hardcore kid, punch a punk in his cattle-ringed nose, break every shoegazers pedal, your sub-genres don't make me feel any less alone.

6. Reflections of the TV Screen

I swam out to the middle of Long Lake, tears upon my cheeks, as you leaned in to kiss the boy you'd left me for, turned and left the beach. And as the first mouthful of water rushed into my lungs. I tasted the rich taste of silt and failure flow across my tongue. And as the growing darkness closed in on me I found myself transported to a memory of a Maine winter as cold as the water I swam in, on the backseat of your mother's Ford. And as we moved to touch each other then I felt a growing distance in my bones between me and all my friends. And the gaps in human existence closed in the moment we kissed and then rushed back in to fill the void that opened when you parted your lips to say:

"I think you're wrong about me. I'm just pictures clipped from magazines and reflections of the TV screen of people who you want me to be."

So goodbye Alecsandra, you've gotten what you wanted. A song to prove you meant something, a grave marker that you haunted.

7. Tollund Boy

Black hair and a monroe piercing and lips a vibrant shade of red and skin as pale as the flash of the camera you use to take artsy photographs.
All of 18 years old and a complete mystery.
All my friends try to tell me that you are into me.
So despite your better efforts I still manage to believe that you intersect with an unrealistic expectation and a girl from my dreams.

Something that I have easily confused: you have some direction, you can give me some that I can use to map out paths that lead me to be warm in a bed somewhere no longer alone out there?
I always felt stage fright when I'm walking up to you and

leading you away from me into the darkness of someone else's bedroom
ignoring all the warning signs, your confused face, my impending doom.
And how excited I am to see you tilt your head and receive my kiss,
but open your mouth and swallow the words that tumble out, awkwardly, after it.

So goodbye young shameful Brendan,
and goodbye Boston sky
and goodbye cold heiress, I am leaving you forever.
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.

There's no mercy that could make your love more strong,
the love you hold for me, which will leave you before the night has gone.

8. Fire Pits in New Jersey

The smell of firewood takes me back to a time when I was more inclined to speak my mind on the topics of beauty, though I had no experience with creatures like you (but now I do).

Your blue eyes twinkle like a firecracker bursting in a pile of snow, and though I always meant to tell you so...I was lost amid papers and pretensions and writerly things that occupy my time.

But I love you, and I meant to.