Fading Twilight

Now: the fading twilight of the midwestern winter
I am gazing at your perfect limbs
And washing off the filth of two days on a Greyhound
As the frozen piping gurgles up its hymns
Soon I'm getting high with your roommates while you read about theology
I'm thrashing on your couch all anointed
You get back from your final and find me in a K-hole
You aren't mad, just disappointed with my choice

The voices make it hard to cope but I swear to God I won't stop hopin'
Like Christ and Mary Magdalene we'll get together in the end
When you've given up sainthood and the worst of my sins are
Like the fading twilight of the midwestern winter

Now: the dying shadows of the northeastern summer
I am waiting outside for my ride
Scrapping for copper in vacant neighborhoods
And dreaming of the words you will write
In the pages of Harper's or the Atlantic Monthly
About how war is the mirror of the self
The guys in my crew, I tell'em that I knew you
But not that I won't ever love anyone else

Do you ever think of me as your jeep drives south from Turkey across the border?
I hope Kurdish militias take care of their foreign reporters
I pray the sunburned scars of whatever evil has been done there
Dim like dying shadows in the northeastern summer

Now: the swirling tempest of a Gulf Shore September
I'm nailing plywood to the window frames
God protect this parish, so close to the shoreline
And so far from the Minnesota plains and Scandinavian names
The Lutheran faith, it ain't about hatred
And it helps me stay clean and make friends
I've learned to play the organ and I sleep in the church basement
Am I happy? Well, I guess that all depends, depends on whether...

When you win your Pulitzer for bravery in deed and writing
And helping us all understand just why so many men die fighting
And you rest your prosthetic on the podium, will you remember
Love like the swirling tempest of a Gulf Shore September?