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A Goodbye Poem

Jill Battson

        For Laurent

And in this moment I realize I cannot write a thing about love. The wind blowing through the window on goose bumped skin, the way night turns into day for the sleep deprived, the way my heart aches for you. Everything I believed, or thought I believed is empty, like a blackened highway in a david lynch film. A simple gesture, a realization that what I expected to be reciprocated, wasn't even thought of, except with annoyance. An intrusion on the excitement of life, the plasticity of existence and what we believe to be real for us. A train breezing midnight in the distance, the breath that takes us from town to town, its course denying the real. Moments between families, discussions between lovers, the unwanted message that truth brings. It is constant like flax, like disappointment, like the course of my tears. Then, echoing in the distance, the truth smacks you like a romance novel. Time spent wasting with smiles and nonsense, the euphoric feeling that this is love and the broad smile that comes by just walking, just noticing the world. The slap that contorts, built on a kiss, a chance encounter. Something that changes when intimacy is involved, the shift that makes it more real, more tangible and more dangerous. Gentle gestures, a honeyed stickiness on salt landscape would never end except by proxy. And there is nothing else really, a touch, a kiss, the building of lopsided dreams. The truth heard in bright car interiors with the engine running, a feeling of nihilism. It is this that changes me from the imagined importance. Colour of rubbed oak in sunlight, the texture of your skin, finding your small hairs in the sink. The infatuation that means everything in the essence of the world: the small breath, the colour of water, the smell of rain. And when I stay up past 1 a.m. listening to small movements of raccoons, the breath on a cotton landscape. Moon that rises and wanes in terrible light, a chance pulling of tides, a body of salt. It troubles me, like iodine, like the wrinkled necks of the dead, like insouciance or disinterest and I question my existence. The small smattering of fancy or the spark of life. Is it all worth it? Which memories will we take with us? The swimming lyricism of paintings, a last breath of a stanza, the mute kiss of a lover? And there is nothing compared to this: lying awake under the truth of you, the wide eyed sleeplessness of lost dreams.

Jill Battson's works copyright © to the author.

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