Going Gone

 Over stone walls and barns,
miles from the black-eyed Susans,
over circus tents and moon rockets
you are going, going.
You who have inhabited me in the deepest and most broken place, are going, going.
An old woman calls up to you from her deathbed deep in sores, asking, "What do you keep of her?" She is the crone in the fables.
She is the fool at the supper and you, sir, are the traveler.
Although you are in a hurry you stop to open a small basket and under layers of petticoats you show her the tiger-striped eyes that you have lately plucked, you show her specialty, the lips, those two small bundles, you show her the two hands that grip her fiercely, one being mine, one being yours.
Torn right off at the wrist bone when you started in your impossible going, gone.
Then you place the basket in the old woman's hollow lap and as a last act she fondles these artifacts like a child's head and murmurs, "Precious.
" And you are glad you have given them to this one for she too is making a trip.

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