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 testament,  
it gives off 
      a scent of forged nostalgia—
 that this moment
lasts, that beauty’s severed head
of petals somehow 
persists and gives 
and so one turns back...
and turns again,
to go.
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   
                                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.
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