And that ache… there is nothing so sweet

If you carry this album around with you, let it live in your heart, pray it, you might one day be able to understand my passions, my faith, my desire, my love.

Lyrics behind the cut.

SECESSION

Their genocidal war is declared—we declare our secession
And suffer reprisals, proscription, arrests
Like our brothers and sisters in cell blocks, on shopfloors, in cages
We’re marked for death
They buy, sell, and enslave us
We break from their mazes
They starve out escapees, gut our hearts, cut our ties
We sow seeds and bear fruit
They clearcut and uproot
We survive
We thrive

Bridges are for burning, as tables are for turning
And nothing they offer could ever ease this yearning
Better wounds than regrets, better doomed than suppressed
But we’re not doomed just yet
We are sparks in the night
In this empire of ice
We set fires in the streets and the hearts of their young
They destroy and devour
But we’ll heal all the damage they’ve done
And when we shatter their silence
And they answer with violence
We’ll dance in the shackles and sing through the trial
They are banking on death
But we’ll outlive them yet
Though they’ve bulldozed our heartlands
And brainwashed our families
And poisoned our passions
And smothered all hope from our souls

We survive

DELIVERANCE

One escapes—a boy won’t go back
I did my time in the prison you call life
In spite of surveillance, the judgmental eyes
Defying the lies that there’s nothing outside
One escapes
From landscapes laid waste by your toil
From cities that run on your blood, sweat, and tears
Come workers—desert
Come soldiers—desert
Come, life is for living, not living in fear
What chain chokes your throat, what gate bars your path
What prison entombs you in concrete and stone
What fence stays your step save the one you accept
What key could release you from walls of your own

No—this girl won’t go back
The older I get, the more I want to fight
To destroy institutions, for total revolution
No compromise, it’s my fucking life
Fight—for each inch of ground
For each hour untrammeled, for every wrist bound
For songs yet unsung, desires unrealized
For all of the ones who should be at our sides
Don’t go back
No don’t fear, don’t relent, don’t back down
Don’t falter, don’t turn away now
No wealth could replace the riches we forfeit
Nor monuments ransom the chances we waste
None will even recall what we squandered at all
If we never dare to give wings to our longings
If we never dare to give teeth to our rage

Do you remember what I said?
I wouldn’t take away a word
Better die in defeat, starved, crazed, and alone
Far from this or any herd
No law can give freedom, no state can give power
No wages can buy back the life that we sell
No god can grant grace in this forsaken place
We have to storm heaven and seize them ourselves

Storm heaven
Unleash hell

PAUPER KINGS/BANDIT QUEENS

These are the power-mad fever dreams of pauper kings
We have nothing—we must be everything
We are masters without slaves, gods who need no worshipping
Through the gutters and galaxies that are reserved for madmen’s eyes
We sail, like rain against the sky

In the ruins
In encampments fit for bandit queens
In the glow at the end of the day
We will gather with our demons
We will dance, and they will play
Through the gutters and galaxies that are reserved for madmen’s eyes
The damned steal through the land of the blessed
To taste the sweet fruit of the flesh

When the others lose hope
When the bread runs out
When there’s nowhere to go
When the hammer comes down
We look to the horizon, and all our sufferings lose their sting
Toast the beheaded, sing: behead every boasted king
We will bear neither chain nor crown
Neither chain nor crown

Meanwhile, ever present, inexorable doom
Sense your death—there it waits, inside you
Another day of borrowed time
Could it be long enough to taste of life

KICK TILL IT BREAKS

Absence of pleasure, absence of pain
And day after day after day is the same
Absence of feeling, absence of hope
An absence, a vacuum that smothers, that chokes
But whatever it takes, whatever it takes
You’ll empty everything into that pit
Whatever it takes, whatever it takes
You’ll concede and conform till you cease to exist

Where there’s nothing to live for, there’s nothing to lose
And there’s no consolation we cannot refuse
Where there’s nothing to lose there is nothing to fear
We would risk losing nothing to get out of here
And whatever it takes, whatever it takes
We’ll hijack and pilot our lives out of the void
Whatever it takes, whatever it takes
We’ll smash through this silence, we’ll kick till it breaks

THE BORDER

A wind bears your scent to those in pursuit
There will be no rest tonight
At your back the world you fled, gaining on you
And ahead only the darkness and the fight
But you know you’re not really living
Until you’re sharing every breath of air with death
You’re not really giving
Until you separate yourself from the rest

You’ve come far
Just to find this
Almost encircled
Another victim
No longer yourself
Not yet anything else
Beyond recognition
Beyond return
Hunted, haunted from without and within
You arrive at the edge of the night
Searching for the strength to push yourself
To the place where limits end
You feel the future in chains within you
And a new sun that rises before you
Can you cross over
Can you reach
The farthest shore
The steepest cliff
The starkest wasteland
The deepest rift
The border

If you have a limit
A point of no return
And you have reached it
And all your bridges are burned
The sleeping armies are stirring
You’re not alone on this path
The war is on, the lines are drawn
And there is no turning back
There is no turning back

in darkness

DEFEAT

Ash
Cinders
Use it all up, burn it all down, just don’t let them take you alive

To live in resistance—that means to give up
Each day’s bread for action, each night’s sleep for dreams
To hang by a thread in the vacuum
Between what is and what is to be
To lose
Fight after fight, with no rest or respite
And to win back the chance to take risks, to take flight
The stakes that place life beyond price

Yes we walk in darkness
Under ten thousand stars
We embrace our desires
Even as they are torn from our arms
That agony—that is our triumph
That failure—that is our feat
We are nothing and no one, fed on wanting alone
And in wanting we’re almost complete

We arrive here embattled, pursued and forlorn
Rich in stories that cannot be told or be borne
There’s so much I still want to say, want to do
And I know I won’t be here for long
To fight
Loss after loss, cost upon cost
And in the settling dust
The aftermath and despair
To pick up the pieces and set out once again from there

Yes we walked in the darkness
Under ten thousand stars
And awoke lost in deserts
There we trembled and paused
We were dragged by our demons
Through hell and heaven above
We wanted so badly to love life so madly
That wanting was almost enough
And though when we arrived, almost nothing remained
Of the visions that had guided us over horizons
And all destinations seemed foreign and strange
That agony—that is our triumph
That failure—that is our feat
We’ve raised anchor forever
The world lies in our wake
And that ache
There is nothing so sweet

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