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Ani DiFranco

Pale Purple

pale purple nipples
goose pimpled
she shivers shifts from a walk to a trot
alone in the city
infested with faces
immune to new friendships
interested in places she's never seen
she says everything is grey here
and nothing is green
the girls from down the street
sixteen

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Work Your Way Out

lying on the floor
four stories high
in the corridor
between the asphalt and the sky
I am caught like bottled water
the light daughter
I wonder what you look like
under your t-shirt
I wonder what you sound like
when you're not wearing words
I wonder what we have
when we're not pretending
it's never-ending

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Fire Door

I opened the fire door
to four lips
none of which were mine
kissing
tightened my belt around my hips
where your hands were missing
and stepped out into the cold
collar high
under the slate grey sky
the air was smoking and the streets were dry
and I wasn't joking when I said
Good Bye
magazine quality men talking on the corner
French

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Both Hands

I am walking
out in the rain
and I am listening to the low moan
of the dial tone again
and I am getting
nowhere with you
and I can't let it go
and I can't get through...
the old woman behind the pink curtains
and the closed door
on the first floor
she's listening through the air shaft
to see how long our swan song can last
and both hands
now use both hands
oh

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Letting The Telephone Ring

I am letting the telephone ring
cause I don't want to know why
I don't want to hear you explain
I don't want to hear you cry
I have written so much about you
so much I thought I knew
words like water used to flow
now what could I possibly have to say?
she is someone I don't even know
and all the things that you've given to me
I see now were simply reparations
they were gifts of your guilt
they were my preparation
I know I should be mature
keep my feet on the floor
but for some reason

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Rush Hour

ush hour
and the day's dawning
the rain came
and pushed me under the awning
the puddles grew and threw themselves at me
with every passing car
I'm shielding my guitar
and there were some things that I
did not tell him
there were certain things
he did not need to know
and there were some days
when I did not love him
he didn't understand me
and I don't know why
I didn't go
he said change the channel
I've got problems of my own
I'm so sick of hearing about drugs
and aids

[...] Read more

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The Slant

the slant
a building settling around me
my figure female framed crookedly
in the threshold
of the room
door scraping floorboards
with every opening
carving a rough history
of bedroom scenes
the plot hard to follow
the text obscured
in the fields of sheets
slowly gathering the stains
of seasons spent lying there
red and brown
like leaves fallen
the colors of an eternal cycle
fading with the
wash cycle
and the rinse cycle

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The Story

I would have returned your greeting
if it weren't for the way you were looking at me
this street is not a market
and I am not a commodity
don't you find it sad that we can't even say hello
'cause you're a man
and I'm a woman
and the sun is getting low
there are some places that I can't go
as a woman I can't go there
and as a person I don't care
I don't go for the hey baby what's your name
and I'd alone thank you
just the same

I am up again against
the skin of my guitar
in the window of my life
looking out through the bars
I am sounding out the silence

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Every Angle

I'm imagining your frame
every angle
and every plane
I'm imagining your smell
the one that mingled with mine
once upon a time
thoughts of you
are picketing my brain
they refuse
to work such long hours without rest
in unstable conditions at best
they're out there every day
holding up there signs
and thoughts of no other man but you
could possibly get through
the picket lines
to enter into my mind

I'm imagining your laugh again
the one you save for your family

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Dog Coffee

perpetrating counter-culture she is walking through the park
first light ugly and more muscular than the dark
pushing poems at the urban silence
drawing portraits of the passers-by
sitting on the curb
combining traffic sounds
getting dirty looks and dirty jeans
on the dirty ground
she says I can't figure out what kind of life this is
comedy or tragedy I just know it's show biz
and what if I don't agree
with the lines I have to read
they don't pay me enough
the way I see it

freedom and democracy
that's the word from washington every day
the americat's asleep
with warm milk and cliches
and people are expendable along the way

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