Kerosene

Kerosene

 

Comes the snake,

for to whisper,

for to wake you at all hours.

Comes the scorpion,

in the morning,

in your pocket; put your hand in.

 

Stay away

Stay away

Stay away

Stay away

 

Comes the vulture,

only flying for to reach you; 

sling your tongue out,

snap your eyes free in the moonlight.

Comes the leopard,

comes now spotted, in the tall grass.

If he asks you, will you answer,

little gazelle, little dancer?

Comes the great owl, 

on his oak tree,

for to judge you;

your empty skullcap glowing faint blue.

Come who will, then.

 

Stay away

Stay away

Stay away

Stay away

Kerosene

Kerosene

Kerosene

I’m on fire tonight

All four tires tonight

Just don’t try me tonight

Stay away

 

Comes the clock man,

counting seconds;

twisting corksprings,

tear your spine free. 

Comes the banker,

trailing tangles, 

tearing notebooks,

faking mercy.

Comes the agent, comes the teller,

pens for fingers, gold for front teeth;

handing rations, strangulation,

throats a’gapin’.

Comes the siren,

smeared in semen

breasts bright-gleaming.

Comes the Noah,

boat a floating,

warning raining.

 

Stay away

Stay away

Stay away

Stay away

Kerosene

Kerosene

Kerosene

I’m on fire tonight

All four tires tonight

Just don’t try me tonight

Stay away

Stay away

Stay away

 

(Life Underwater Music,  2001)

James O'Brien