LEIF VOLLEBEKK

WHEN THE SUBWAY COMES ABOVE THE GROUND

In T.O. I was laughing
At my friend who sold his soul
I guess it wouldn’t’ve been so funny had I not sold mine for less
Orange smokestacks in the sunset casting shadows until our faces drowned
It’s better to have left and laughed than never to have left at all
I found myself on a subway coming above the ground

I used to tango
But that, that was then
I danced too close to the band that’s how I got this ringing in my ears
And sometimes I just can’t sleep from the sound
I can’t hear it during the day, It’s just at night or when things get quiet
Like when the subway comes above the ground

In Tennessee, I went looking
For someone to throw me against the wall
I wanted to be inspired until disheartened, spend the money I’d hard-earned
Oh, just to see his name with flashing yellow lights bulbs all around
But he left us in the Mississippi
He wasn’t even thirty-one
If only he’d come up like a subway from the ground

In springtime, I was standing
With a brown dog by my side
I was sweating I was staring at Mayan ruins
Then I was next to you on that bus going straight out of town
From Memphis and Nashville to New York City
Your jaw was wide and pretty
And you turned to me and said, “Am I in ruins like the outskirts of the city
Where all the subways come above the ground?”
And I said no

In Iceland, it was festival season
And I went knocking at your door
You opened up and there you were
With the halo of the porchlight you were crowned
We stayed up all night
Phrases fading like countryside in the rearview mirror
I was hoping that one day you’d be next to me or at least somewhere near
When the subway comes above the ground