(Mos Def speaking) Iâ€™m not gon sing a song or nothing.
Um, what that term they call it post traumatic stress syndrome? That thing that uh, soldiers will get. I think a lot of people get that. Itâ€™s like when you experience somethin and uh, it affects you for a long time afterwards. I guess everything works that way. Certain things have more impact than others. Sometimes it visits you in your dreams or when youâ€™re quiet or just at peace or trying to be at peace. A lot of soldiers get it. A lot of common people get it. A lot of the time common people are soldiers, thatâ€™s just the way it works out.
This is a soldierâ€™s dream
The other night I was tumbling towards an uneasy sleep When I had discovered myself Atop the sweet sticky firmament of my dreams. Daybreak came and discovered me With my fantasies pasted to my face.
I cant look at you right now. "Show me your eyes," she says. "Later," he says. "Now, now." "NO!"
Shame is a prison you know. Yeah, well discretion is a fortress Youâ€™re starin and lookin too closely. Thereâ€™s so much about me that I hide That careful eyes will recognize. If you look closely youâ€™ll notice That the pattern on this soft cloth shirt Is made of workin menâ€™s sweat And prayin folkâ€™s tears. If you look closer youâ€™ll notice That this pattern resembles Tenement row houses, project high rises, Cell block tiers, Discontinued stretches of elevated train tracks, Slave ship gullies, acres of tombstones. If you look closer, youâ€™ll notice That this fabric has been carefully blended With an advanced new age polymer (oh man, thatâ€™s nice) To make the fabric lightweight Weatherproof, and durable. All this to give some sort of posture and dignity To a broken body that is a host for scars. I am the new landmark. I am the museum of injury. Soldiers visit me and admire me quietly, Whispering amongst themselves. Youâ€™re no soldier. Your soft bright eyes never have to Survey the battlefield, Much less its collected relics of which, I am one. So, my flesh bullet-ridden remains hidden Underneath these soft fabrics Which I carefully select That stand in for how I used to feel, For how I remember feeling, For how I dream about feeling, For how I feel about you. And now your curious fingers want to search Beyond this tender armor. I cant look at you right now
(This is my rifle there are many like it but this one is mine) 2x
Your eyes are too careful, Collecting it all arranging it all; Surgically, robotically, exactly. I canâ€™t look at you right now But that doesnâ€™t matter because You can look at me and the longer that I donâ€™t return your gaze, The harder that your gaze Starts to run across my back Like a nervous policemanâ€™s hands: Brisk, intent, anxious for discovery. If discretion is a fortress Then youâ€™re threatening to destroy it By simply standing at the gates And refusing to leave. I canâ€™t look at you right now, But you can look at me. Do you see me?