South of the River

The sun will forgive us, and the scarlet evenings,
and the bridges we keep crossing, exactly how we mean
when we keep saying We’ll cross that bridge when we
get there. This river, too, thousands of years old, it’ll
forgive us. The night air sparkles with things unsaid,
as well as my hand on the soft curve of your waist.
When the silence gets too loud I make my way to the
train station and watch thousands of people go by,
all of whom are not you. This is my penance. We are
merely messages in the dark, spilling over into the
day, me dozing off to hello and you saying goodnight
to me when you wake. That is how things begin.
Walk arm-in-arm with me. Late enough at night and
the trains eventually pull away into nothing. Farewells
are photos we nearly forget to take, winging their way
across thousands of miles of ether. There are things
nobody can hold onto; you slip from my embrace
again and again. Please forgive me. In the crowds
I search for your face, knowing you are not there.

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