Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lyrics for "Fireflies"

She said,
"as a child I lived in the mountains,
I would collect fireflies in a jar and use the light to read my books."
I said,
"what a beautiful world it is."
She said "When I return to the mountains now there are no fireflies left,"
and I said "what a heartbreaking world it is."

So when our heroes grow old and our dreamers go mad.
When our songbirds go silent and fires burn on each corner-
I live for the little wins.
When there are footsteps in the hallway
and we don't know whose they are-
lover or torturer,
whether assassin or ally-
I live for the little wins.
When there are hands on ears and tape over mouths,
when I no longer know if I prefer to be awake or asleep,
the silence of the undertow or the breaking of waves on a reef.
When they promise us everything
and treat us like nothing,
I live for the little wins.

Like eating a meal and realising it's exactly what you wanted.
Like finding out mangoes are 9 bucks a box.
Like a surprise email that makes your day,
the first sip of water after a daylong fast,
the first line after writer's block,
like a student who can barely spell her name
but pens the perfect line.

I live for the things I'm ready to die for,
I stand for the things for which I'm ready to fall.
We all promise that to ourselves sometimes-
We, the people, most fragile of all.
We, the people, who drag nets to the shore
hoping to find diamond rings in the guts of fish or pearls in the bellies of dragons.
We, the men and the women, standing inches from screens
that scream at us to gain funds and lose weight.
We, the seething mass of darlings and friends,
rapists, racists and killers of men,
romper stompers, heroes, fashionistas and feminists,
protestors who swing their bats at the system
hoping the shards form mosaics
lovers who swing for the fences.

This for the survivors, the outcasts,
the eccentrics who never let coolness whitewash their madness.
For the kids on the mish, on the pavements, the basements,
in the flats and in the schoolyards.
They will treat your voice like a crime for which you have no alibi,
so make it a crime of passion,
raise it at their eyes,
shoplift time,
pick pocket perseverance
from the haters and leave the rest behind,
speak with purpose
teeth brighter than a city's spine.

Little win though it may be,
who knows?
someday, one day the fireflies may return.