At the end of this poem there will be a brief goodbye.
Greetings not from celebrity influencers, but from an
Amalgamation of beings, all your others, both large
And small. Like last night’s dream. All of their formed
Identities are constantly shifting. Your mentor from
When you entered adulthood now has your neighbor’s
Jet black hair. She proudly claps her hands together
With firetruck red nails like your high school biology
Teacher. She is brimming with congratulations. And
The girl you had a big crush on, who embarked on a
Path of love and breakage, remains silent. With a soft
Smile and warm eyes she sees you now as only one
More stranger. She passes you and leaves the scent
Of another, one you really wanted, but never, for one
Reason or another, pursued. You wonder if in that very
Instant you were mistaken. A firm hand pats you on
The shoulder: your little brother has the strength of
Your father. He giggles at your surprise. You close
Your eyes. You want to memorize that laugh. You
Open them. The barista hands you your drink, and
Asks where you are going. You say you don’t know.
And they return: “Bectya it’ll be fun to find out. Watch
That cup, it’s hot. Your mother called again, by the way.”
You hear all of this not as nonsense but as wisdom.
Of course, why not? Get a good grip on that cup. And
Call her back. For once you’ve got your priorities in
Order. It occurs to you that your boyhood dog is not
Gone, but is just off the leash. Try whistling. Your
Upper arms ache. You have a heavy need to wrap
Them around someone. And then you do. You close
Your eyes so tight. And hold them even tighter. You
Don’t feel who it is but you’re comforted by the fact
That it’s beginning to snow big flakes, falling from a
Big sky. It’s a good sign. A time of rest is on its way.
A few more moments graze you. The hold never
Releases. Instead you are compressed, fractured.
Breaking off into pieces, your pixels floating back
Into sky. You are becoming lighter. And then there’s
A brief goodbye spoken, but you don’t know by who
G. E. Schwartz, the author of Only Others Are (Legible Press), World (Furniture Press), Thinking In Tongues (Hank’s Loose Gravel Press), Murmurations (Foothills Press), and the forthcoming The Very Light We Reach For (Legible Press), live and writes from Upstate, New York, USA ( Wenrohronon lands).