Locked out, thinking of you. One last poem. Saying goodbye 

Leaving I realized as soon as the door closed behind me—
I was stuck on its outside, and after I’d indiscriminately gone around
locking everything else, trapped in that mania that seems to have
some purpose only after you have done what you were going to. Wanted 
to read Sharon Olds on the deck chair as the light faded, a way
of scaring myself from the house and a rut and from your echo,
and I did find my way there, but only after borrowing the neighbour’s
phone and waiting hours for the locksmith to call and to come with his big
black husky/shepherd mix who smelled Shel’s tennis balls and his trees
and the container full of litter. Sat in the new haze of the g*psy moth,
brown jewelled, beautiful—if I hadn’t known what they’d done 
if they would only stop flying into my boot when I’m walking. 
When I see a female (white, flightless) I step on it—you know
how much it kills me to, even those. I guess I don’t need to tell you
why—you were here not for the worst of them, massing to coccoon, 
but you heard them high in the forest crown, the rain where there was
no water. You saw them dangle and twist on the ends of their ropes. 
Sometimes I’ll start with wonder at how much time has gone
since you were last here—how you must still see, in your mind’s eye
the old stove and the dishwasher, their cardboard, long ago gone, 
not the relief of the plain bare wall; how you don’t know the new height
of the plants in the greenhouse, and the lily flowers, everywhere, 
several kinds; and the daisies, white and yellow, and yellow and brown; and 
a kind of flower I don’t remember ever seeing before: blue weeping cups 
I cannot identify. I will tell you—I’d like to forget sometimes, pretend
as if it never happened, as if you’re still inside, somewhere, waiting; 
then it would be easier to look at the basketball net where we played 
twenty-one, where you taught me how to do a lay-up, or the post
where we tied Shel with the still-attached length of blue cord I found out
behind the shed. Or to think of dancing, our dancing—slow and purposeful,
or the much more common every day kind, a gathering and laughter
that erupted whenever we intersected. Some days I know exactly
what happened, why it didn’t work and why we won’t be going
to the beach any time soon, why I won’t see your one-piece this summer—
and otherwise it seems impossible, a cliché bad dream. I think:
wasn’t there more we could have done? Why did it have to end? Was it really
so far beyond reaching? Well. It’s too late for that, even locked out 
and waiting in the afternoon, as the light gathers softly
in a delicate cascade of fluttering brown wings: 
transformation, beauty
after the violence, trees stripped bare. 

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