Goodbye Poem

by Lara Jirmanus, UMMS 2009

Honorable Mention 2007 Gerald F. Berlin Creative Writing Award

Every finger on my hand
Presses lightly on your skin
Like the pin of a tent pulling from the earth

Your heartbeat echoes off the walls of my ear
The certainty of machine gun fire
Rhythm
Steady
I am so happy right now

If you do not take her ankle
She will float away
I can barely see her for the sand

The faucet drips out a dull code
Security is sinful
Doldrums of a dead summer, it has only begun
It is all we can do to avoid the boredom

Believing she existed is difficult
her handwriting will not convince me
The discipline of blue lines on white paper
Into language
Herded

My whole body glows with guilt
Soaking up the gentle day
Skin on skin – certainty
(The rhythm for her)
The atomic synchrony of boots and metal
Chest
rise and fall
Where has the floor gone?

The ground comes in pieces
Dry and cracked
When she smiles
I can’t tell if it is raining

Shifting in and out
Her things will glide away on a conveyor belt
No one will say anything

The tearing of calendar pages
Stripped away the foundation of her voice
Transparent like a needle
Precise, sting

The last telephone ring
Like habit
Our words