“Goodbye,” you say, “next week we’ll see each other
six hundred miles away from here,” and turn away.
The day is long in hours but short in time –
a lecture, lunch with a friend and packing my bags.
“I’m sorry for you,” the lecturer said, “this truth
makes your poem even better, in a sad way.
There will be more moments like this in your life
the older you grow, but you’ll never get used to them.”
“Nice meeting you again,” the friend said
before we shook hands and wished each other
happy holidays, or Christmas, or whatever it is,
and left each other behind in this fading year.
Packing my bags is a strange feeling
still. It should be a short break only, lying down
on the bed and listening to Arturo Stalteri.
But your smell still lingers on the blanket,
and that other world is still here.
As the cellos grow old I realise I’ll never
get used to saying goodbye: a part of me dies
every time someone walks away –
maybe I should never have left.