This week, a poem by Malcolm Tariq.

 

One Ending: Of Learning

 

I did not kiss you farewell in the rain.
We said goodbye in the building.
When I stepped outside I was in the rain.

It is windy today. It was windy.
And grey. At the table I wanted to cry
for some reason, I don’t know

I wanted you to as well. We did not
kiss goodbye. I stepped outside
and needed my umbrella.

It could barely stand the wind.
I tried not to slip on the sidewalk.
I put it down and entered the building.

I went into another building. It was
still raining. Even if I wanted
to look up into the stars,

water would fall into my eyes.
I saw this coming. I tried
to write this poem yesterday.

I wanted to get over it before
I had to. I tried to write this poem
months ago, before this happened.

Why would I think I’d have
the answers? Yesterday there was
sorrow. That is gone now.

Who even has the answers?
I stepped into the rain. Thinking
about winter. Thinking about last winter.

The winter before that. What I thought
was sorrow was sadness. I’m turning
back, I thought the poem was how

to be lonely. Now I see it is
learn to be lonely. Maybe I will try to
write this poem again tomorrow.

My horoscope says it’s about the experience
of the experience. I am trying
to be good. To be well.

But the sky has the answers. The void
that I cannot look into without
a fresh, stinging pain.

This is a sick feeling. Writing this.
Making it into something good.
I stepped into the rain thinking that you

had no umbrella on your way home.
I knew you thought you didn’t need one.
I’m wondering if you really do.

——

MALCOLM TARIQ is a Cave Canem fellow from Savannah, Georgia and is currently a PhD candidate in English at the University of Michigan. His work has appeared in CURA, Vinyl, HEArt Online, Nepantla, Winter Tangerine, and Tinderbox. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia and sometimes at NowhereSouth.com.



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