We Are Going Away
We are always going away.
From beds with sterile sheets
Or from upholstered chairs, we
Speed suddenly through quiet noons.
And the visiting hour finds us gone
And the noon meal cools forgotten.
Or on mundane streets we pass
The last sign out of town, and days
And years are highways diminishing
Until the roads end and we stand,
Not alone, but waving ourselves on.
And we are going away still,
Always quickly, always soon--
This, then, is my argument for love,
That we compress the hoped-for years
Into the hour we have and grasp
The arm tightly and press the lips
And speak each other into words
That will remain.
Rolling Coulter, Summer 1994, Vol. VI, i, p. 17.