Lei Han CC
I kept my doll in college
Hidden under my socks
A rubber doll my mother found
...in the Salvation Army, of all places.
Her hand held a lipstick
Lost years ago.
Oh, I clung to her far too long, far too long
But I don’t need a severed hand to show me
All the girls I was.
Everyone I’ve ever known
Is sitting here with me
Around my kitchen table
They’re sitting here with me.
They are the bed I lie on
Beneath the sky we saw as children
The sky whose light comes from dead stars.
Where the living and the dead dwell together,
Where the living and the dead shine as one,
I've been saying goodbye and goodbye and
a lifetime ago I said goodbye to my brother
but goodbyes never happen once
One goodbye in Berkeley California
where he lived with his skinny, blank-eyed girlfriend,
with her junky debutante manners, and his cat, but
I forget the name of his cat
although I never forget cats, even
my Siamese runt, Gudrun who slept
around my neck, she lived only
a month before the boys next door killed her.
I must have said goodbye to my brother with his cat,
before I said goodbye in Times Square,
on a corner, somewhere
where I got angry, about drugs,
he'd broken his promise,
people are always breaking promises
and our last phone call, his voice slurry,
he asked me to buy tickets to a Dylan concert, so
we weren't saying goodbye at all
but that was a lifetime ago, and
at my brother's funeral, I delivered his eulogy,
or that is what people say.
I thought I was saying goodbye,
but goodbyes keep on coming,
they won't let go.
Carla Sarett's recent work appears or is forthcoming in Prole, Third Wednesday, Halfway Down the Stairs, Boston Literary Magazine and elsewhere; and her essays have been nominated for Best American Essay and the Pushcart Prize. Carla lives in San Francisco, and has a Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania.
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