By Will Kleiner

Long Gone

I am saying goodbye now.
Tomorrow, when you come to my house
When you pass the empty driveway
When you ask me from the doorbell
And only the voice of doubt returns your plea
You will not find me behind the door.

Tomorrow, when you go up the stairs
The empty, creaking stairs,
You will not find me waiting at the top of those stairs.
I will not be eating breakfast in the kitchen
Not cleaning the bathroom

When you search my office
When you open that silent door
There will be no singing keyboard,
No slaving computer.
When you come to me in the office,
You will not find me.

When you find me not in the hallway,
Not in the kitchen,
Not in the the bathroom or office,
When you find the old ghosts sitting there instead,
The voice of doubt will breeze up from the doorbell and murmur in your ear.

Tomorrow, when you walk into my bedroom
The sound of your feet will be strangled in hungry carpet
The potted plants will cry chlorophyll tears begging for water
The previous day’s clothes strewn across the floor
You will look to the bed.

And in the bed you will see.
You will see a friend’s wish,
A final laugh.
A cold hand,
A pale lip.
But you will not find me there.

When you flee the quiet,
The all-devouring screams of silence,
You will try to put my house behind you.
The voice of doubt will shackle you to that house.
The sorrow, the hunger, the quiet

Some time from now,
You will search for me
When you walk through the soil
When you wander into the forest
But you will not find me

In many years,
When you look for me
You will look up to the sky
And then down to the stone
With my name on it.
But you will not find me there.
I am not here.
You will not find me in this world.

I will not be in that earth with the bones of a friend
I will not be in the sky with the wings of a bird
You will not find me there,
That is not your friend
That is not me.

I am long gone.

I have written since I could spell, and drawn since I could hold a marker