Hallelujah, hell, I’d known better
Ain’t no comin’ back once you get on
That train down to Memphis where
Your sister lives. Where your sister lives
And works, you say, isn’t a place but
For passin’ through. Like everything
I ever loved in you, stripping nothing
Off my second soul, the one I saved
Because of you.
Hell, Hallelujah, I’d known better
Ain’t no comin’ back from You once
I been born from present lands
That been born from peasant hands
That been born to bring You up, Lord.
Ain’t no comin’ from pleasant Memphis’ shore.
Hell, I’d better known hallelujah
Amen, a man sings harp strings like
He ain’t got cords his throat but
Rain-sticks and bottle-pops, just
Sounds not meant to come from man.
Sounds meant to be made by man
Come from him like he made himself
And maybe he did, like you.
Maybe You ain’t alone, like they
Say You are.
Hallelujah, I’d known better hell
Ain’t no comin’ back for you once
I been borne from preachers’ vices
That been borne for wanted validity
That been born by your priceless
“There’s no coming back to such lands as His.”
I’d known hallelujah, better, hell
When rain comes on like this my knuckles
Burn right where I cracked your jaw.
Wasn’t what I wanted but drink didn’t touch
Your lips again. Your lips were only mine
And water’s thereafter. When rain comes
On like this I hear your lips kissing me
Little life giving kisses. Life was in your
Kisses that turned down the ache that comes
From missing lifetimes lived long ago.
Better I’d known hell, hallelujah
Yes, I talk to you and God and one
Is blasphemy between you two.
You ain’t goin’ tell me when I ain’t
Goin’ listen’ to more than goodbye when
There’s no more listenin’ to be done of you.