Summertime Sweater

Now I don’t mean to be a bummer,
But let me tell you why I wear sweaters in the summer.
Cuz I’m not ashamed of what’s under my sleeves,
Because it’s those scars that define me.
And what I’ve done, is tried to compress,
The bottom of the iceberg, I gotta get off my chest.

Ya see,
I’m a cutter, because I’m a fighter
And I need you to cut me Mick,
Cuz sometimes I can’t see,
All the love, that’s right in front of me.

I wake up every day and you can’t imagine what I feel,
There aren’t enough words to try and make it real,
To you who claims that you understand,
What I’m feeling when I close my eyes and breathe,
But you can’t even comprehend,
All the thoughts that haunt me.
Cuz just like scary movies I’ve got ghosts up in my attic.
All their wails and moans make me look like I’m addict
To sleepless night and tired days
And looking at people like they’re nothing more than shades.

But let me give you a glimpse into my mind,
To see all the terrible things you’ll find.
Not because I want your pity,
or your spite,
But because I need you to understand,
There are millions of silent voices, with my same plight.

Some days are a blessing, I can feel the love.
Smiles are glimpses of God,
and laughter is euphonic ecstasy,
and my chest is filled with warmth enough to bake compassion
and spread joy like a high school charity bake sale for the maligned.
And I look at eyes weighed down by bags of heavy burdens
That catch sleepless nights
And fists broken on noses
And empty bottles filled with promises
And sleeves of self-shame and failed epitaphs.

Cuz ya see, I know what it’s like.
I know what it’s like to feel the pre-natal nurturing
of blanket cocoons filled with sighs.
I know what it’s like to feel like a golem of clay that walks the earth,
hollow center, losing bits of oneself with each step.
I know what it’s like when your skin feels suffocating,
And superfluous.
Trust me, I know what it’s like.

And so what I do, is I cut,
Off little pieces of myself just to give to others
So they can carry around the fact that somebody loves them.
A stranger though I may be,
no stranger than a stranger who can look a fellow stranger in the face and say,
“Isn’t it strange, … how everyone who walks down the street desperately needs love,
And we all know it, but we’re all too shy to show it.”

That’s why, like a nazi wears a swastika on his sleeve,
I wear my heart on mine,
With a fanatical devotion to that which most people find insane,
Agape, love.

I’ve been given every reason to hate the world,
To just give up, but instead, I put up, and shut up,
And I grit my teeth and power through days
Where every passing person needs to place their burdens in my yoke.
And I smile,
Because I can take it,
For those who can’t.

Because I believe my life is not about me.
So take my words with thee.
And take things one step at time.
Because you only live once,
But boy is it a lifetime.
Take it from the guy with grey hair at 23.

So, to the victims of high school break ups and divorces at 65.
To the addicts with a sweet tooth and track marks.
To those sitting, whittling away the hours in detention, centers.
To those third shift thinkers who sit with backlit screens
and stream thoughts of what could have been and what might be.
To the single mothers, and fathers.
To the golden ditch diggers.
And to the masses of walking dead,
And the few survivors who somehow managed to make it this far.

Know this, that although I don’t have an umbrella
to help you to weather the storm,
I’ll give you the coat off my back and warm words,
So you realize that you don’t have to go it alone.

That’s what my scars have taught me,
That turning from a suicidal teen,
To a depressed adult just means,
That our foundations are built upon damage that cannot be undone.

So while you have secrets that you’re desperately trying
Not to let burn a hole through your heart,
I choose to crucify myself up here so you know,
To just let it flow,
Because you’re not alone.


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