Learning How To Talk

by Mess

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Becoming 02:11
on hands and knees, we bury what’s left— a stillborn proof of all the things we’ve been. in time, we will both learn to breathe again. our lungs will burn with fresher air. our lungs will burn with fresher air, and we’ll return to a state so bare.
Dead Space 03:00
learning how to talk, i’ll base it off your punctured lung. like the spare room in our house, i’ll watch you clean your insides out again. it’s dead space—our bodies hollowed out. peel the layers off our fate like dead skin now. unlearning how to talk and washing out all the words you taught, i know you tried, but i’m not supposed to see you cry. it’s not supposed to feel wrong to be alive. my body’s a hearse to you, and if i’m the coffin, you’re the hallowed ground we walk on. it’s a place familiar like the faces cut out of all the pictures.
Cave 03:47
stay home again ‘cause you can’t move without something breaking. you have hands around your wrist, holding you down to promises you can’t remember making. don’t you think it’s time to call it off? we could just sleep here in the parking lot. don’t you think you’re better off painted over the sidewalk? your slow pulse and your slow breath, she wears them both around her neck. but we could move and drink our coffee black in a different state. we could lose everything and let the walls cave. there’s no profit in the convenience of getting hurt in all the same places. there’s no profit in the convenience of holding a familiar hand in a house that’s burning.
Godsend 03:26
pillage through the dirt and you’ll come up with filthy hands as empty as promises. how does it feel to be a godsend? i try to resist, but you pull tight the ropes you’ve tied. it’s in my DNA, subtle as crooked teeth, my heart pumping my veins full of gasoline. just wake me before the flames catch up with me, or smother me. don’t let me fall through. don’t let me fall through. you are holding me down. my eyes are sulking dogs at the foot of your mouth. i’ve only seen the light from underwater, but i think i’m getting closer.
Drown 04:32
pinned down, covered up. don’t make a sound, bathing in the wounds you won’t ever let heal. you just keep them around till they drown us out. god knows i’ll take the high road home and you’re not afraid to cry in the backseat. i hope you will let this go, but i know you won’t. god, i know you won’t. can’t stay up late tonight tangled up in your mind. pull the plug and leave on the closet light. in the morning, i swear you’ll forget how it bites. am i your holy ghost? is that what you thought i’d be? fear it but you keep it close. hold your breath under the waves till they wash your arms clean of their inherited stains. always on your knees, did you ever think what it did to me? you’re your mother’s child, borrowed body made of glass. will you spend your life mourning something you can’t get back?
Body Parts 02:28
pawn my body parts victim to your palms. do what you want to me. don’t ever say i did nothing for you. i gave all i could afford to lose, and i am empty now for you. i know that i’m a morbid bed to sleep in every night. i’m nothing close to what i said, and i can’t look you in the eyes, but you are beauty— a calm and patient sea. please carry me all the way home.
Whole Again 05:18
drove you home with the headlights off. let you fill me up. and i stood in the hall with my raincoat on, playing over in my head every word you said. you’re the most wonderful thing to be covered in mud. “kiss me clean; can you stomach the blood on my skin?” i just want to see you whole again. always said that no one stays together anymore. i was so scared that you were getting bored of me. watched your parents turn their pain into a flood. it swept you up. a love like that always eats its young. make me your home, and i’ll make you whole. make me your home, and i’ll make you whole. it starts out brighter than it ever has, but the stars still burn out. and we still live in the same house, where the floorboards creak when you stand too close to me, and we hardly speak, and i hardly breathe. yeah, you’re choking me with the parts of you that i’ve grown too tired to love anymore. i’m sorry that i’m just like all of the lovers and mother that never knew how to hold you, but i swear i tried. on hands and knees, we bury what’s left— a stillborn proof of all the things we’ve been.
Boston 01:40
now she’s moving to boston, pulling the sheets off the bed in that little apartment i thought we’d always live in. and your creaking bones sound like every single ghost i’ve ever met. i wish i loved them instead.


released March 29, 2019

artwork by lisa a. ryan
recorded in kansas city by patrick robinson & braxton matlock
produced by patrick robinson with additional production by braxton matlock
mixed by braxton matlock
mastered by troy glessner (spectre)


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Mess Kansas City, Missouri

the dust between your sheets


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