1. Seasons

From the recording More Die of Hearbreak




Some claim that our lives are only seasons
I used to know these two brothers
They’d walk up to the basketball court like every day
The old one had a scar on his chest
and no one called him by his real name
They called him Hank Gathers

Verse 1:

A friend who I grew up with
had a hole in his heart
For years, I struggled with that image,
playing sports in the park
It was cold, maybe march,
shoveled snow off the asphalt
I remember how the winter
made the day feel soft
Damp leather in my palm,
sun lost behind the gloss
of a calm long and heavy
like the spring was the fall
On the court playing ball
with jeans and our hoodies on
played for hours without asking
even what was the score:
barbed wire, brick walls,
chained nets, steel backboards
The game was something sacred
something more than a sport
We dreamt on that blacktop,
dissolving in the backdrop,
handles and a jump shot,
a reason to believe

The day would prove deep
The kid fell to his knees
At first, he couldn't breathe,
hunched over in a corner,
then collapsed on the court
holding tight to his shoulder
Eyes pried wide open
Mouth stuck in a square
Hands moving to his chest
still gasping for air,
and he lie there, pupils rolled back --
all white --
body still and catatonic
in a fight for his life

Some moments make you notice
tiny patches of time,
details that otherwise
might've fell to the side
The world magnified,
birds chirping in the distance,
like God was trying
to find out if I was really listening;
dreaming real life,
sirens yelled into the evening
filling up spaces
and bouncing up off of buildings

He wasn't breathing
He wasn't breathing

By the time paramedics arrived,
he wasn't breathing

Adults in the street lights
talking to policemen
negotiating vengeance,
narratives, contradiction
I recall dribbling,
walking home with a feeling,
taking all the same streets,
but somehow they felt different:
glistening, intimate,
musty with lost innocence,
thinking dark images
of surgeons and apprentices:
taping shut eyelids,
sawing through his flesh,
misplacing instruments,
clamps and forceps
vanishing in depths
of bone beneath his breast,
hidden in his body
as they sewed up his chest

Chorus 1:

I imagine darkness, thick enough to touch,
flawless, hate as perfect as your love,
I imagine what many cannot fathom in us
to imagine what happened that day in '91

Verse 2:

A kid bullied on and battered,
they called him Hank Gathers
His brother was Bo Kimble
'cause he shot left handed
They hooped in New Balance,
low tops and high fades,
walked together to the park
almost every day --
in collegiate starter jackets
and oversized jeans,
played dice on the side
'til we picked up teams
Hank was wiry and long
no older than thirteen,
and Bo was a bit slow,
so he followed Hank's lead

It returns in my dreams,
sometimes on dark nights,
reminding me that people
move in and out of our lives
I struggle with the whys,
if it happens for a reason,
to reconcile the cycle
if our lives are only seasons
I remain humble, grateful
I am breathing,
lost in the current
of superficial existence,
but I can still feel it
in the cold of the winter
It sits in my chest,
while I'm lacing up my sneakers
On a brisk, march evening
walking off into the distance,
tracing back steps
through alleys and over fences --
walls of graffiti, vacant lots,
broken glass, I dribble
down Main Street and Madison Ave

Chorus 2:

I imagine darkness thick enough to touch,
flawless, hate as perfect as your love
I imagine what many cannot fathom in us
to re-imagine what happened that day in '91

End Song