i turning back—relenting— is often better than the leaving...though I’ve used both to get my way. departing, going, getting on the highway, an exhalation of regret like just-cut, dead hydrangea floating in dead water...in testament, it gives off a scent of forged nostalgia— that this moment lasts, that beauty’s severed head of petals somehow persists and gives pleasure and so one turns back... and turns again, to go. ii now the going, the leaving unimpeded, shaking the dust off the serape is just joy, going, gone, owing no one nothing, and if I did, try to make me pay. no, this time let the lips stop, let them close my eyes with coins, cover my cheeks with reverential, scared- shitless kisses, I’m the vapor leaving, though I appreciate the gesture, I really do. bee-stung stunned lips, the crimson she kissed me with, slits in velvet that opened in a tongue of put-out flame, raw thickened flesh that licked the deepest draughts of honey and air and her careless hair... and I’ll miss: all of it, the kind of love practiced here, where you balance at the breakfast nook with cantaloupe looking at the intent, known faces casually telling out the news—plans for swimming later on, a just division of the cars, how my dying made you feel first this, then that.