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  • Fifteen hours on the road
    To be here
    Sitting in the Atlanta airport
    Just one
    Of 100,000
    Intersecting lines

    I watched the flow
    And replayed
    Summer’s final act
    The closing scenes


    The last afternoon

    Sitting on my parent’s porch
    Watching my father toss and turn chicken legs
    On the grill
    Hands trembling
    Just a little
    As he sauced them
    Cousin Billy’s Maine Maple
    Basting sauce
    He read me the label

    So much said
    So much left in silence
    You can take my table saw
    I won’t be using it again, he told me
    I was leaving
    Driving out at three the next morning
    to fly back to South Africa
    A table saw
    What would the security staff say
    How much excess baggage would that be
    I probably need a house first, I said



    Later

    I held my father’s hand
    In the darkening kitchen

    I guess it will be next June, he said
    The curtain of winter hangs
    between then and now

    Time and fog
    They blur the edges
    Leaving is not an act but a process
    Thinning,
    Step by step
    Fading
    Until just an outline
    Then a hint
    Then a memory remains
    Space remembers us
    Holds our place for a breath
    Then sighs
    Releasing
    Like a child blowing dandelion silk
    out and out
    and
    gone



    Later still

    As dusk gathered the shadows near and close
    Leonard Cohen in measured cadence crooned
    Harsh and smoky sweet as whiskey
    The old house and me
    Settling toward night
    With the memories of summer
    Only lingering memories of summer
    Flash like fireflies
    And then they’re gone



    I remembered

    Our last island night
    Looking north
    Lightening
    Casting long spears
    Jagged, streaking to the sea and
    over the mountains
    the wind boxed the compass
    came west then north then east.
    Sharply wrinkling the darkening sea.
    Sheets of rain
    Wet the sun warmed rocks
    Where we drank sparkling wine
    And cast our lobster shells to the sea





    Finally

    in the hours before dawn
    My footsteps creaked
    Through the old house
    My presence already fading.


    And I know you want to hold on
    I know I want to hold on
    Cause leaving is
    Such a final act
    Headlights shine the road ahead
    Tail lights red behind


    And it’s only for a moment
    We’re remembered
    Only for a moment
    We fill this space
    This me
    This you
    This us
    Just a moment and then we’re gone
    Blown away like dandelion silk
    Flung out like dandelion seeds
    Spun out and gone with the breath of a sigh
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