Author’s note: I’ll format this later.
THE BALLAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD GODS
I walk the streets of my new hometown
I’m realizing I’m running out of time,
And it’s not just because of you
I see the desperation in their eyes,
I see them shake in the cold
The money in my pocket is borrowed
But I’m going to give them all I have
The mornings keep me shaking, too,
The afternoons blind me with the sun
The world around me is dying,
And after eight years I’m still on the run
And maybe I think it’s a little pathetic
That my words have failed me
I’ve let my life fuck and rail me
And I haven’t even put up a fight
But you need to understand,
I thought I was doing my best.
We may be the guiltiest gears in the machine,
Running ourselves ragged, holy, and clean.
Perhaps it was naïve of me,
To think I could rebuild that trinity —
But I’ve lived and fought in foxholes
And I thought I could handle this.
So I think it’s time I introduce myself
I was hoping not to do this alone
But it’s my fault, I went and got boned
So I’ll guess I’ll skip invoking the muse
My name is Hachiko,
Yeah, like the dog —
The pet of that brilliant man
Whose heart gave out one day
And never came back to that subway
That dog waited eight long years
Before he went up and died
He reminded us that love is patience,
Love is forgiveness, love is kind.
A dog once told me,
if you wanna learn to sing,
pick something you can belt.
If we were Disney, I’d be Oliver,
We can bring the company.
Why should we worry?
With friends like these,
you don’t go hungry.
And I hear those ripping voices,
wolves howling every full moon
Sometimes I think I can hear you
crying with them too
And maybe how I treat people is little dehumanizing,
But the worst part of being a person isn’t the anthropomorphization
It’s the vulnerability, the lack of fur, teeth, and fangs.
The things that keep them even with us in a fight, though they’re half our size —
My friend asks me why I see her as a lizard
If I hold her in such high regard
Why don’t I see her as Artemis,
and I feel she makes a fair argument.
But the best protection I can give her
is to see her as untouchable.
Give her gorgeous fangs
to accent a perfect bite —
No mortal man crosses the Crocodile Queen
Baby, who made the spear I shoved down that lion’s throat?
Who guards the gates for girls lighting up Town Square?
Is it you, or is it this ancient statue,
the one they put up next to that hotel
When I head downtown and see her,
I think you’ve ascended higher.
I feel like there was a miscommunication —
For all this time, I thought I was a paladin
Wearing my heart on my sleeve.
If you asked anybody they would tell you,
I answer only to God and one of his angels.
But if I kept every promise in my prayers
I would have acted sooner.
When I came here I sought the counsel
Of the king lion perched stop his throne
He told me about his island full of misfit toys,
And I told him I wanted to make it home.
I bowed my head to his golden mane,
I show him my cursed and shining nose.
He doesn’t recoil, I hear him laugh,
And he tells me he likes the colors it glows.
I ask him, Do you know who I am?
Do you know it was earned by blood?
Every living creature has their purpose
and mine is to find a place for them all.
He admonished me about pretty boys,
Tricking me into painting fences for them.
But, babe, what if I like painting fences,
If it means that fence is for a home.