it has been 5 months exactly and I am saying goodbye

I have never known a storm like you
how you grip a city as you might grip a throat

how exactly in that moment of tenderness
in that final impossibility of parting

you do not let go
        /my hand
        /over fingers
        as I would

trying to pretend
        /as I do

that there is us and there is always
and we need never let go even now
when so much of me is leaving

and so much has already gone

I will return to you by water
I will find you
        by the river

where I know you cannot wait

Wave Two

March, 2010


Lisa Birman

Lisa Birman

Lisa Birman is the author of for that return passage – A Valentine for the United States of America (Hollowdeck Press), and co-editor of Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics in Action (Coffee House Press). Recent work has appeared in Trickhouse, Tarpaulin Sky, 580 Split, Bombay Gin, and not enough night. Lisa directed Naropa University's Study Abroad Program in Prague 2005-2008. She is currently the Director of Naropa University's Summer Writing Program, where she also teaches for the MFA in Creative Writing.