James Diaz

What’s in a Life

The way he told the story was 
he never had a chance
father left before he turned five
his mother used to hit him 
a lot
almost as much as she hit the pipe
he thinks she hit the pipe more though 

and those are the good memories

he’d tell you what went wrong 
and he’d own every damn bit of it too
‘I fucked it up, sure enough, 
I was so good at blowing up my own life 
it scares me to think 
just how used to it all I got’

word come down that he did himself in last October 
most folks would say they were amazed it took him so long
to reach that bottom, last song, no dancing

I never really saw it that way
yeah, he’d lost more than most of us could bear
but to hear him tell the story 
that was all a part of the magic of this shit life
how what you lose 
makes you appreciate the hell 
out of what you got left 
all the more
and when I had no place to go once 
and he was livin’ outta his car 
hell, he gave me the back seat
and not once did he ask for a single thing in return 

to hear him tell the story though 
that’s just what you’re supposed to do for others in this life
and that oughta count for something
more than all the shit that went wrong 

it oughta be the whole story 

it kinda is.

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