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Farewell, Goodbye

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Maybe it’s time to write a poem about defeat.
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It’s easy to say, the world has beaten me.
And: the word has beaten me too.
It’s easy to say. Full of vowels, o, a, e, e, e.
The mouth likes to make those sounds.
It is built to make those sounds. Circles.
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It’s hard to admit defeat, but maybe
harder to admit not defeat.
The mouth clenches around those
selfish words, refuses to let go.
Divorce is a word that carries
regret in every syllable.
Die. Force.
Say it with me.
No one knows to say it with joy.
“Happy divorce” is a bit like
“happy Yom Kippur.”
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What I want to say is this:
fifteen years doesn’t feel like defeat.
It feels like our contract was up
too many heartfucks ago and we forgot.
Fifteen years feels like two-cross
country trips back-to-back,
like first desert heat and then capped cold.
Like the stars over Mt. Rainer
making snow mermaids on our heads
while bears pace across our folded hands.
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Fifteen years is my tongue pathing the
smooth shadowplaces of your skin,
delving the deepening echoes at
the corners of your mouth.
Forgetting the taste of you
even as you serve yourself up,
biteable pieces on an apology spoon.
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Somewhere you are making anew,
making a new love, making lust,
to someone not me. There is heart break
and there is heart break. I want to open
you up, sew you together with this
sharp thread. Feel the way the needle
tugs and sears, soars and swoops,
the way it stitches us a song of muscled hope

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About This Poem: It’s the last day of Poem-A-Day, and the title came because of that. The first line was inspired by Robert Hass’ poem, “Faint Music.” I want to talk about this experience of writing a poem a day, but I’ve got one of those crazy scheduled days and so my reflections will have to wait. I just want to say this has been awful and amazing, in all the right ways. I’m delighted and grateful for the opportunity, the amazing poets and poems from all over that have come out of this process, the way I’ve learned so much about how I work. Of course, right now, I’m mostly grateful that it’s over 🙂

About Poem-A-Day: For the month of April (National Poetry Month), I’ve signed on to write a poem-a-day (eeks!). To make it slightly easier on myself, my rules are that I have to write each poem in fifteen minutes or less, and that I have to post it here on the blog as soon as I’m done. No edits. Just rough. Raw. Right out of the gate. (Of course, if you’re playing along, I hope you’ll post a link to your poem in the comments here — mainly because I’m selfish and I want to read them!)

See all my Poem-A-Day poems here.

You can also read some amazing poems-a-day over at Sage Cohen’s blog.

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