Today's poem is by Mary Jo Bang

Goodbye Is Another Word for Not

Imagine the movie
With its seen scene. It's 5:15
And what's left of life.
That realization is a real formula

For reluctance.
The sun is still an egg yoke
Lemon rim around a rectangle
Window shade. Everybody's

Subject is sitting in his or her seat.
A bonfire of burnt-orange burns
At the bottom of the screen.
It's fall, so

It's the bonfire of exquisite trees
With russet leaves.
Minnie's white-gloved hand reaches
Out to touch

A leaf leafleting down.
And in that, evidence of
The bitter coil's poor Mistress of
Unceasing Seasons. Someone says,

What day is it? No one answers.
The cold beauty in the middle
Section of the seats,
Her smile clothes-pinned up

Pretty-girl-like, smiles
Out as the character, perfection acting
For all of us, says,
At the end of the day,

The sun always goes away.
She is lying
On the edge of nothing.
Outside, an orange light

On the top of a cab is something.
Nothing less than incandescence
(Flicker). That bright
And that almost

Over. And then, we see the evil
Denouement: as the movie apparatus
Matches the luminaire taxi light,
Making them both disappear.

How sad is absence. How very gone
The nothing after.

Copyright © 2007 Mary Jo Bang All rights reserved
from Jubilat
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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