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Laura, Toucan Editrice

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Page 14--Aubade For A Friend--Taegan Harker

Days pass, then you’ll occur to me again,
and I lose you afresh every time.

I’m awake at five a.m., remembering
how you’d recommend walks at this hour,
when the sky’s the colour of sea salt.

I used to dream about us walking
at the same time, on opposite sides of town;
a togetherness – only imagined – that would ache like grief.

I fly out in a few days. I’ll probably stick with tradition:
text you the morning I leave, wonder
if, for one reason or another, it’ll be the final goodbye.
So, I’ll make it a good one. Then my phone’ll be off,
now able to tolerate the greyscale acres of check-in and departure.

After months of barely speaking,
you drove to pick me up from my mother’s hospital bedside.
We stopped at a red light on an empty street.
Your eyes had shifted to dove-grey, from blue.

I can’t remember when I told you she’d died.
I remember wanting you minutes after it happened,
I wanted you there to lie to me:
tell me I was pale, and needed to rest,
tell me the world would seem washed-out in the days to come.
You would have created normalcy –
to make me feel I was reacting right, to keep me calm and safe –
you would have made my comeback slower,
but at least you would’ve been there.

It was nothing, really. Promise.
Go back to sleep; turn over in your bed
and find the colder side of the pillow.
You don’t need to worry. This was nothing.
Not the nightingale or the lark.

We were just a noise in the dark,
a noise in the heart, that used to be a song.
Before nothing can be done for us both,
I’ll leave quietly, so we can finally see morning.

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