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how hard could it be to say goodbye?

Artwork by Rita Chen, staff artist

hello, again

to marigold-scented mornings and mirror-hazy dreams

where ten years later leaves no crumbs to grow stale in half-ajar cupboards

and tea over-steeped is lilac—ivory—dulcet in the mouth.

say your


and your adieus and your bon voyages; let my heart

still and the cavities between my fingers cool and my footsteps remember

not to miss company. tell me a joke, one last time; let me

hold, no, be held—the edges of your eyes crinkling, your face

a map of the milky way. hawking radiation, they think, the end

of even the unrelenting: you, half of a whole, evanescent, kettle-warm

in my imagination. what do you want to be when you grow up?

almost no sunlight makes it to the forest floor. hello, again

to moss creeping over my ankles and truffles erupting from under

my skin. i’m long gone, now. made it here when i was

running, running, or

maybe that was just another memory (bathroom tiles, windowsill).

keep your epithets to yourself. say my farewells

and have them sound like a eulogy. me, buried; me, remade. if only

i had burned my tongue.

draw velvet gloves over my wrists or hairpin necklaces

across my collarbone. tender leaves

give to dim winters and the slow, grating dissolution of everything—

nothing, mostly. empty spaces within atoms

or between us. nothing.

perhaps it goes something like this:

but isn’t it interesting? growing into different people?

i guess

but i wanted to grow into different people together.

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