A Brief Goodbye / G. E. Schwartz

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

Or what.



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).

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