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ISSUE:  Autumn 2000

In my dream summers before, you are the one
leaving. After the long-rehearsed
precise movements of my departure, I’d
misunderstood: the pale green ticket in my hand,
one way, not for sale. I’ve come
too early to the vast and mirrored station, where
you, already there, point to blank faces of
clocks scrubbed clean of numbers, telling
hands. You say, six-thirty, your voice
run soft with small impatience, the way
you’d told me earlier that year how your
second wife had left, leaving only her
name out. This is where a paper-blue shadow
lifts across the floor from your feet, cut
predictably woman-shaped, thin as air mail
and faceless beneath a wide-brimmed hat
from summer films. The doors shut
slow motion on you two, though I hold
the ticket. They should; this is where it ends.

For weeks before I moved here, where I’d
write from, where you’d call, I dreamed only
of your leaving. I had it like night fever.
I recognize the woman now, by her nervous walk
in mirrors. After so much travel, long wintering
in the sealed touch of envelopes, we’ve let
each other go; my sleep is dreamless, almost
easy. There’s no train, for I’ve been here
from the beginning: I was only arriving
into the scene of your absence.

I’ve missed you already for years.


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