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Sufjan Stevens - The Only Thing

The only thing that keeps me from driving this car
Half-light, jack knife into the canyon at night
Signs and wonders: Perseus aligned with the skull
Slain Medusa, Pegasus alight from us all

Do I care if I survive this? Bury the dead where they’re found
In a veil of great surprises; I wonder did you love me at all?

The only thing that keeps me from cutting my arm
Cross hatch, warm bath, Holiday Inn after dark
Signs and wonders: water stain writing the wall
Daniel’s message; blood of the moon on us all

Do I care if I despise this? Nothing else matters, I know
In a veil of great disguises; how do I live with your ghost?

Should I tear my eyes out now?
Everything I see returns to you somehow
Should I tear my heart out now?
Everything I feel returns to you somehow
I want to save you from your sorrow

The only reason why I continue at all
Faith in reason, I wasted my life playing dumb
Signs and wonders: sea lion caves in the dark
Blind faith, God’s grace, nothing else left to impart

Do I care if I survive this, bury the dead where they’re found
In a veil of great surprises; hold to my head till I drown
Should I tear my eyes out now, before I see too much?
Should I tear my arms out now, I wanna feel your touch

Should I tear my eyes out now?
Everything I see returns to you somehow
Should I tear my heart out now?
Everything I feel returns to you somehow

In an interview about this album, Sufjan talks about how he felt connected to his mother after she died by replicating her self-destructive behavior: "In lieu of her death, I felt a desire to be with her, so I felt like abusing drugs and alcohol and fucking around a lot and becoming reckless and hazardous was my way of being intimate with her." This song touches on his feelings from that time. Sufjan goes through a destructive or even suicidal phase but finds sustaining beauty in religion and nature.

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