below the earth
I remember the day I said goodbye,
the real goodbye,
the day I let loose the last thread.

from across the continent,
your coast to mine,
your letter came;
I read it in my basement room
in front of the earth-level window.

long waves moved through my legs
and up my body.
the white fabric of what was
changed color, to burgundy,
and was given away
to clouds I could not see
to make a sunset
over the islands.

I folded the letter and
put it away,
looked up and out the window
at wild grass in wind
and the wall of the house next door.

as I sat in the quiet below the earth,
nothing but time 
sat with me.

© April 1997 Layne Russell

This poem was published in
the June 1997 issue of One Dog Press.

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