Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Christ, he said, I’m so sad.
So very sad.

And he’s right,
there will be no more
toasts, no more sitting
on the little hard stools
of Finnegans, his favorite
Irish pub in Madrid,
no more “What did you do today?”
as we tell him about
seeing Guernica
and the dibujos
madre con hijo muerto
and the one with horse,
his tongue like a dagger,

or when we went to Toledo
and told him about the winding streets
that belonged to el Greco,
how we got lost even with a map,
but found a little cerverceria and had a caña

or when we tried albondigas and drank wine
back at Cerverceria Alemana
where just days before we had all
sat outside,
our skin getting redder, our laughter getting louder
as Oscar grabbed the waiter and ordered another round.

Christ, I’m so sad, he says again, shaking his head.
I hug him and don’t want to let go.
This is goodbye.
Keep writing, he says, pointing at us,
before he walks through the gate
of the Biblioteca Nacional.
I watch him through the iron bars, his shoulders slumped,
his head down and think,
this can’t be it, this can’t be the end
before running down the sidewalk to the next gate,
and calling his name,
He looks up, a small sad smile,
Adios, I yell,
waving frantically,
because I don’t have any other words
because the ocean is about to stretch between us
Adios my friend.

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