You tell me you're sorry. I pretend I don't hear you.
You're walking behind me. I don't turn around.
I can't catch my breath, or even stand to be near you
since the couples counseling session ran aground.
In that little gray room full of trinkets and books,
you smiled as you told me that you were long gone.
I know, now, I should have expected an ambush,
or maybe I did, but I hoped I was wrong.
I counted our sins and I reckoned the tally,
and you owe me, but I'll never settle the score.
The thing that still eats at me even today
is the same wretched void that you left me for.
I have seen the black soul of a carnivore
in the things you hope I won't bring legal action for,
and we have both seen things we should forget.
By the time this is over, they'll be tired regrets.
I know it won't always be like this.
Grief isn't the master I serve.
Some days, I hope you get just what you wanted.
Other days, I hope you get what we both know you deserve.
You promised you'd always stand by me,
and you shouldn't have promised that. We both know it now.
And I promised I'd never stop loving you.
It's a good thing we wrote our own vows.
You're a debt I gave back to the world,
and that name I used to love is just a curse, now, to hurl.
I've lost the map that showed the way to sleep,
but you're only as good as the things you can keep.
Will you promise to stay wherever you went?
I won't live in your shadow. I can't afford the rent.
Should we swear on conclusions that have since been foregone?
Darling, there's nothing sacred here left to swear on.
You're a beautiful wreck, I'm a wide-open door,
and I guess that's about all our vows counted for.
Did I so badly guess at my value
that I thought I was lucky to have you?
Yet these works and the days that they fill
are as deathless as the love that I'm trying to kill.
from Little Bird,
released November 16, 2018
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar: Scott Reu
Synth: James Riotto
Drums, Congas: Jason Slota
JV's 2019 release is experimental but eminently listenable, a trick that few artists can pull off. It's incredibly bold, but also deeply beautiful. I wish I could write something this arresting. Scott Reu