Another Goodbye Look: my windblown self, laid open, or, another insolent word like the wing of that crested bird rephrased and tossed aside, broken. This hill is a rocky ocean of thorn and desire, absurd in winter's glaze, another slurred and curtained morning forgotten. Now lost habitats surround me. Dead brush and loose skin drape my nights. Remember, what is past, has passed. The kettle whistles. I pour tea, think of who I was. Oh, the delights of leaving: nothing ever lasts. Flinch Set it aside, regret, heal. Grieve till the soil's ebony heart devours your secrets. Believe, in agony, what falls apart, disintegrates at your feet. Art rends your flesh: nervous I transmit false signals, flinch when I should start, weep when I should wave, counterfeit my life's lessons. Mosquitoes flit through the unscreened window. Do I ever claim this life as misfit, as hopeful dupe? Watch the man lie and conspire. Swat at the bugs. Lift the mottled spade. Accept this shift.
Robert Okaji is a displaced, half-Japanese Texan living in Indiana. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Panoply, Vox Populi, Slippery Elm and elsewhere.