I Remember When I Died
I remember when I died.
I remember that day.
Just like today.
Two Vietnamese children,
We didn’t find the mine.
It was made of plastic parts.
It was made perfectly,
For taking and breaking hearts.
It was a dusty Vietnamese road.
Where two small lives were taken.
Sometimes a man can’t get back together,
Because of how the parts have been shaken.
The sound of a mine is so profound.
But in that moment, nothing will matter.
The shock will throw you on the ground,
Or make the bravest scatter.
These children walked with us.
They played as children play.
But things don’t last, now do they?
Yes, I remember the day.
It’s funny how we lose,
A piece here and there.
And yet how suddenly,
It’s more than a soul can bear.
No time for crying.
Set up a perimeter!
Medic! Over here!
I guess that’s all.
Atoms are rearranged,
As black letters on white paper,
Souls ascend as souls are etched with,
“Life is but a vapor”.
As quickly as the snapping of fingers,
While smoke and death still lingered,
when Marines cried.
Each one turned away,
and cried in his own way.
So I became another man.
But I didn’t get a clean slate.
It wasn’t like I applied,
To be a man folks loved to hate.
So slowly, I died again.
I tried to work myself to death.
But I wasn’t dying fast enough,
I wanted to hasten that dying breath.
I built my own gallows,
I was the judge and jury,
I tried myself in absentia,
And punished myself with fury.
I assumed that my sacrifice,
Would earn me a better part,
But I would never see the blow,
That would, once again, tear apart the heart.
Yes, I remember the day I died.
I remember folks who have lied.
Preachers, cops, judges, lawyers
Ex-wives, in-laws, friends, and employers.
All I’ve had is my word.
Where there was once a heart is just a hole.
All else is given away.
And still, still, it comes for the soul.
Yes, I remember when I died.
I remember the final dose.
Time consuming, really.
I remember the alienation the most.
Thank You Lord for my bread,
The healing wounds on heart and head,
The souls I pass on my way down,
The kindred spirits that still come around.
Yes, I’m tired. I’m ready to quit.
Don’t lighten my load until You see fit.
Don’t ease the burden in my head.
Perhaps, just make me stronger instead.
Meanwhile I’ll check this mirror of mine,
And see if I can ever find,
All these men I used to be,
Before I was whittled down to me.
Maybe there will be a turning of the tide,
And I’ll not feel so sick inside.
And I’ll not remember the tears I’ve cried.
And I’ll not remember when I died.