Goodbye, Goodbye

If you put in three to four hours per day of deliberate practice,
within ten years the air around you will become firmer, making it
easier to stand upright, even in a wind storm.  Many friends accuse
me of being from Oklahoma, so this is something I know something
about– wind and survival, funnel cakes and gas station tacos,  a strong
core. And the people, I forgot about people: How each person I met
seemed to hold a message of some sort that I would decipher years
later while scribbling in a notebook, the code revealed as quickly
as it was extinguished. I love myself sometimes in my love for
the people, how noticing is like the whole world sitting up straight
and giving you a sad smile, or like taking off your own shirt and loving
your animal warmth apart from yourself.  But you can’t just say that.
What?  I didn’t say that.  Together we can envelop the news, and I do
mean what we read in the papers, what is sprayed on the walls,
or whispered in paneled dens over a sleeping sibling. Brother, I’ll be
over here, like Thoreau on a stalled Q train on the Manhattan bridge,
scowling at the wondrous implicated sky.  Sister, let me illuminate
the electric green muck of the Gowanus Canal. I am all about
forgetting, even when memory comes trudging up the stairs in the form
of a poem I shall never write in order to simply say goodbye, goodbye.
OK, fine– I remember you.  Goodbye.


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