I am remembering her We were saying goodbye again I have always been leaving She had always been The one who stays Now he is the one who stays
For so many years I forgot the goodbyes I remembered the hellos So very many hellos So very many first kisses
I can't remember Any of the last kisses Even now I only remember The catch in my breath Before that first kiss The soft whimper From the back of my throat As my soft body Involuntarily sinks into yours And your arms tighten Hold me up Even as my knees buckle
But today I am thinking of last things Last meals Last laughter Last fights Our last dance Your last touch My final lingering glance your way
I sit at my kitchen table For hours and hours now With sweet milky hazelnut coffee With crisp cold white wine And look out my French doors To my neglected garden Which mirrors my neglected heart
I am thinking of Arthur And how barren the land grew In the wake of his desiccated broken heart Until the Holy Grail was found I wonder where my Holy Grail is Are you my Holy Grail? Is it your magic, your love That keeps my heart from turning to dust?
And then I watch a black bird drink out of my fish pond My fish pond, my fat orange gold fish that aren't my fish And I remember years of loss and grief And cold forgetfulness that feels like regret And days and days spent talking to my fish Who are no longer my fish More last things
I planted a rose bush when we moved in Virginia Woolf planted one at Sissinghurst I was enraptured by her house, her gardens, her When we got home I immediately ordered one Dixie promptly dug it up when I planted it Somehow it survived it's replanting Will I? Survive my replanting?
And then Dixie, the dog, learned to love my roses Will she still love them when I am gone? It has big fat barely pink blooms on it More last things.
Soon there will be hellos But right now my blood pounds With too, too many goodbyes I want to think about hellos But I am lost in goodbyes And last things
And a deep fear of that in between place That place that isn't goodbye or hello That place where so very much can go wrong
But today I am watching my fish swim I am listening to birds chirp and warble I am watching rose petals fall into pots of lavender While Dixie sleeps in the sun dreaming I am craving your touch and your words Even as I sink into my own silence More last things