So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

By sam sax
goodbye city. goodbye stoop. goodbye rush hour traffic plume.

goodbye feminist qpoc weed delivery group. goodbye cheap noodle

spot on the corner. goodbye drag bar next door serving the messy

deep into the dead eggplant evening. goodbye drunks screaming

about literally nothing below my window. goodbye window & all

it’s seen & forgiven. goodbye urine stains talking shit between

parked cars. goodbye stars erased from the polluted heavens. goodbye

getting my steps in. goodbye highway streaked red & white with

shipments of grapefruit trucked in by the refrigerated crateful.

goodbye angels dressed in thrifted robes. goodbye locusts — 

i’ll see you in a decade or so.


i’m beguiled by & guided by goodbyes : meaning go ye with god :

meaning ghost-flushed & godless : meaning guided by some guy away.

who cares who? some new charon who smiles big as a river. who

rivers big as i ferry with him toward death. the city you’re in now

will never be the city you live in again. the ferryman with his good

bile smiles good with his good will toward men. with his good

guiding arm. no need for goodbyes when i got this phone where

i can visit both my living and my dead.


good grief. what’s my root for all this avoidance? for never saying

peace to anyone’s living face? for this foolish and footloose decree?

my casual excuses for slipping out the back door before the party gets

lit? must be the  jew in me. this blood doctrine. my family who survived

what i cannot write, never said goodbye, only, i’ll see you again soon.

the stories we carried are the only country i’ll pledge my sword to, guiding

me even now toward the safety of strange men’s rooms through

cruisy city parks. exile is an heirloom. plant your sneakers in the garden

so as not to bury your children in the backyard. goodbye park bench.

goodbye best friends. goodbye graffiti at union & metropolitan that

reads godbye krewl world written moments before that poor girl leapt

out into the electric commuter dark. when god closes a door, he bolts it — 


god the comptroller : god the poorly contoured : god the slumlord.

boards up the building before you can flee the house. gone the orator.

gone the forest. gone the morgan stop bookshop before i even

moved here. everywhere was better before humans came and gave

it language. god the skyline’s remarkable this time of day — light

tricked through the carbon in the atmosphere. god even the leaves

are changing and going away. god the rivers flooded with factory

waste and the air’s been replaced with arrogance. my therapist wants

closure, but i ghost the session. i text, transition from one state

of matter to the next.


goodbye city. goodbye stoop. when i moved you were already gone.

a simulacrum. a worn photocopy of what brought us in

by the refrigerated crateful and when i return you’ll be even further

distorted, disoriented organism, a fourth mortgage, an organ exhausted

by fingers, yet still at night anyone who sleeps in you’s bathed in gold.

to all my dead, i’ll see you again soon. to all my living, let bygones be

gone by the time you take this next breath. let’s live instead here,

in this transitional state. the instant water evaporates. riding the trains

below the city.