by J.A. Pak
and hello is all I got. To honestly say
stars are proofs in single limits of obsession
shining above and around and never at the
forgotten box of me—you're your own invention
loneliness a self-fertilizing seed you fostered
edging perfect clouds with topiary scissors
and we have never agreed
even remembering gates, you grabbing my hand
flesh burnt a skeleton song, your heart, your stars, you
flooding all of God's creation—where's the photo
of that? I'll see you—when will that be more than a greeting?
Go since I didn't forget and this is where you
mean goodbye and you never do; stop at hello.
to honestly say to you now. Once I would have
written a single limited edition book
on a whole forest full of leaves about the stars
shining above and around you just to prove that
these were the only ones I looked at real close and
personal in my life. But that has become too
lonely of a profession even for me to
endure. But those same perfect clouds now hang drooling
in tatters out of the basement's banished corners
in forgotten boxes like dead paper fish kites,
folded into frozen statues like dropped clocks. But
I have never agreed with you about this, any,
I never will. I'll see you is as good a new
grown greeting as you're likely to get from me. But I
remember opening the gates and you standing
there firm in the dirt, toothily smiling like a
skeleton key about to turn on all the charm
in the universe, only it was my world, my
room, my heart, my stars, even if I didn't know
it, in danger of becoming a flooded path.
There's no return engagement. But I've finally
put my hand back in my photograph. But that's all.
But I'm going. But you weren't supposed to forget.
But is this where we mean goodbye? But I dream on.
All rights reserved.
I felt Darryl Price's "Hello Is All There Is" needed an accompanying piece like a duet of sorts.
With Darryl's kind permission, I've put his poem below mine for reference. Wish there was a way to post it side by side.