leaving

when she leaves, it is with a flutter
like that of a final heartbeat

and i want to tell her about how
many desperate souls hope that time

could yield to their yearning for return,
and how mercilessly their wishes are

denied; how children gamble with
the stubbornness of a mother’s heart

even when it is caged by rattling ribs
and laid beneath the bleached satin

covers of an impending deathbed,
while she curses the moon with her

final breaths the same way she curses
her wayward sons; how geese, every fall,

bruise the sky brown while flying south
with dark, sinewy wings and determination,

not knowing if they would be among the ones
returning, or the ones to have strangers

take their place on the homebound stretch
while their brethren ache in their absence.

now, when such a tender bargain has
been staked on the sound of her steps,

i want to tell her how i have only witnessed
farewells as head-first dives into murky water,

so quick that oblivion himself can only seethe
and how one emerges either a husk or not at all;

but when i fold my hands over her wrist,
i sense her pulse humming an echo to mine,

like the tides to the moon. my worries evaporate
into air as i exhale, to her, a soft goodbye

What are you looking for?