we say it every day, streetcar after streetcar, practice, practice and then I am saying it to air. please no, we were still practicing. I'm not good enough yet.
an apple you cannot bite into more than once without kissing the tiny toothmarks of the last good-bye, tasting the lipsticktang of the lips that got there first.
still practicing after the bows and curtseys, the set has been struck. good-bye is at our backs, tomorrow and freedom whipping just ahead, but oh here for a minute we turn around, turn back, bury our wide-open mouths noses eyes in the musty pillow that is good-bye. hold it with both hands.
your snaking oxygen tube. your skinny aggro. your shaky release. the boys. the babies. my own own body.
still practicing. in my pyjama drawer, on the coffee table, next to the morning grapefruit. good-bye goes with you and stays with me, precarious splits, I am left holding it, practicing it, eating it. kissing it.