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OXIDANT | ENGINE : Issue 2
When to Say Goodbye
If all goes well it will never happen.
The dry grass in the shade whispers
while the vines crunch underfoot,
releasing a bitter odor. A year ago
I led my dog to his death, the third
in five years. How such counting
precedes affection, dwindles ever
so slowly, one star winking out after
another, till only the morning gray
hangs above us, solemn, indefinite.
Voiceless. If I could cock my head
to howl, who would understand? Not
one dog or three, neither mother nor
mentor, not my friend’s sister nor her
father and his nephews, the two boys
belted safely in the back seat. No.
I walk downhill and closer to the creek,
where the vines are still green.
In the shade of a large cedar, a turtle
slips into the water and eases away.
Robert Okaji lives in Texas. The author of the chapbook If Your Matter Could Reform,his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Posit, Shantih, Platypus Press, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, High Window, Panoply, Eclectica, Into the Void, Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art,and elsewhere, and may also be found at his blog, https://robertokaji.com.
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