Terry L. Kennedy

The Ways in Which We Leave

Cold coffee ringing a mug
and a bill, forgotten, beside it: this
could be the beginning of morning—this
could be the end; these are some things
that confuse: the leaving you now—warm
under quilts, rhythm of your sleeping as light
as the mist as easy as sunrise; and it’s not
that I can’t be there, beside you, tonight,
it’s more this persistence of gravity—it attracts you:
the sag of the clothesline at the edge of its use,
the leaves on the maple near the end of October—
it’s someone else, not you, that I find in the yard,
scattered on the porch, clinging to the dog
as your flooding heart brims & puddles
the chipped cement below your head—
should we call this a state of abundance,
something overwhelming; this untenable frequency
between need & desire: how in fall, we bumper
the parkways embracing the trees at the arc
of their triumph; how when they’re stripped naked, raw
& open, we’re wintered away while the sky
outside is bright & clear.

Terry L. Kennedy
Poem, copyright © Terry L. Kennedy, 2006
Appearing on the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2006, From the Fishouse