Wedge-Shaped or Fanlike

A crow flies overhead
as the fog clears
to reveal a ravine.

And this is how
we say good-bye.

I accidentally tuck my bag
into the bin
wheels out.

And this is
how we say good-bye.

The rental car agent
mistakes me for a wife.
Tells my friend I can drive

the vehicle too.
Asks if we are headed to a wedding.
Wrong on all three counts.

This is how
we say good-bye.

Memories of discovering
a baby squid along the Connecticut shore
and watching “Search for Tomorrow”

in a crooked old house
the university tore down
to build a new athletic facility.

This is also how
we say good-bye.

We wind our way up Mount Tam
to watch the sun set.
For some of us, motion sickness

and pressure in the ears
interfere with the view.
And this is how

joy and grief collide in the margins.
The edge of the sea, all that laughter,
those throwaway asides

are precisely
how we say good-bye.

Crow or raven? And now
I cannot remember the shape
of the beak, or sound

of the bird’s call—
merely a streak of black
scraping against the sky.

And wouldn’t he reply
a feather is just a feather,
a bird is just a bird, after all?

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