Once: To Layne Staley (1967-2002)

January 5, 2010
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I tried once to understand,
To cut through the waves of the turning tide,
I tried not to withstand,
Not to feel; I tried not to say goodbye.

I never wanted to see this,
I never wanted to be so blind inside,
I just tore myself into pieces,
Brought myself hard on to the ground.

I said nothing then, watching you there die,
I wanted to grab you, but you were out of this life,
I saw you lying there silent, empty as I cried,
I tried to shut my eyes tight, but the song had already died.

I wanted to drown myself as I was alive,
To silence this world of memories and breathing time,
I wanted to follow you, to be by your side,
To hear you voice again, impossible to push aside.

I couldn’t see you anymore in all of my tomorrows,
I couldn’t feel you there, numbed by my own sorrow,
I couldn’t set myself; I just wanted to follow,
Alone in a room, haunted by a gloom I felt so hollow.

I couldn’t say all those things I’d hidden,
I wanted to hold you now and whisper them in your ears,
I wanted to see into your eyes once, but I didn’t,
I was too wounded within to see through my tears.

I fought for too long with this image of you,
I swore myself to avoid all of these sudden changes,
I was waiting for you to come up to me again,
I was waiting for you to release me off these cages.

And now I want myself to remember,
Now I want to feel you again by my side,
I’ll take these words out of the embers,
I’ll lay by you and whisper you goodbye.

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