Tuesday, April 19, 2016

"That Word"

That Word 

with thanks to Mary TallMountain

I’m wondering about good-bye,
about the word, the act, the way
it rings and rings through the cave
of my body like a bell with a solid
stone clapper, ceaseless echo -
each cry of abandonment a shot
that ricochets off ribs, pelvis,
vertebrae, skull until I am nothing
but a pinball machine of departures,
my heart smacked and jarred by
electricity, my teeth buzzing
with all that is not spoken but
still swarms and contracts, 

don’t go

                                 come back

       don’t leave me

I’m wondering about leave-taking,
the synchronized art of letting go -
what bony mechanism in the hands
have I never learned to release,
which Rosetta Stone, Berlitz primer
contains the blistering language
that will make my tongue curl into
a silver sob of acceptance,
stop this corporeal cacophony,
let my clenched lungs open –

         don’t leave
don’t go
                      come back

I’m wondering about these rules,
how good-bye means done, over, end –
and what if I overthrew the system,
erased those inky bitter laws, wrote
my own regime’s manifesto across all
that freed white space, alphabet looping
like a murmuration of starlings,
each letter knowing when to turn
sideways, dive and roll, pump upward
into the curve of a wave that spells
so long, till soon, take care -
a design made of faith like feathers,
light enough to carry us
through spirals of time
where there is no word for good-bye
or return, just one heart
always already tucked
inside another:
                              micha eni hikpalala,
            I’ll see you.

Deborah A. Miranda

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