Small Goodbyes

Friday night.
Familiar rhythm.
(or)
Familial rhythm.
Or what passes
as known for
rhythm anymore, or
heard rhythm;
broken rhythm in an
old rhythm.
Pretend to look at
the television, but
listening,
listening.
And they want to let them all in.”
“[Something fucking tasteless] about The Village bathroom
and Canadiens hats
Reactionary, derogatory,
mild misogyny,
epithet/etcetera/afraid of change/unfamiliar etc. .
Silence,
corner of a mouth that
can never help but tip sideways in a
smirk/grimace/bemused way:
a different fight/a different day.
Brother does the same thing.
It’s all ice cubes and water
by the end of it,
ambiguous by design;
the end perhaps early;
always early compared to the ones
drawn out and bled.
Silent rhythm,
steady hand, divest,
nothing asked, nothing
needed, nothing
offered.
(listened/asserted/purported/converted)
Nothing is okay.
No, as in, nothing is just fine.
Couple, alongside,
stools wedged,
celebrate and he
grabs her by the cheeks in
buzz-on excitement:
7s, two hundred bucks, finally,
palpable outright-if-momentary joy,
but they might love each other.
Those same country songs
that always come on the jukebox,
played by the same guy
at the same time
like a theme song.
Hecklers halfway up the north row,
but fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke,
or whatever:analogy, no wasting worry,
twenty bucks to a hundred to zero
to forty down, fuck it, whatever,
the din and the exaggerated cries and his and the cigarette
butts on the sidewalk
and the game’s on and the ice is melted
and maybe, no, yeah
home before midnight.
Walk is just far enough, not too far,
want chips.
Not enough time in the day or days
in the week or weeks in the month or–
anyway,
merely saying quiet goodbyes
else they wouldn’t be quiet and
the girl said “I feel like I need a change but
I don’t know what it is.”
Probably shrugged,
noticed by either side or not,
not have much to offer
leaping on faith
and somedays, some days,
but now is now
and then was then
and then is now.

And it’s always now
until it’s over
but it’s not over.
Some things are over.
It ain’t over
’til it’s over.

*
Might not be in the old Hilltop again,
(how is it so…grey, in there?)
Tomorrow, what, a stupid-large shopping cart at Costco?
One of the cats worries about the future.
NTV comes in better in that corner of the room.
Holy Frig, Waiting for Fidel is on,

Joey and Geoff as the Odd Couple, NFB Guy as Straight Man
Joe rattles on about crime and alcoholism and prostitution, dope and poverty and slums;
(Yes, we’ll blow up their social structures, that’s what we’ll do)
does a soft sell on child labour;
(Those children, not those children)
the usual;
Geoff bronzes and remains fiercely intelligent,
belligerent, resplendent.
(“I didn’t bring a suit.”)
They owed each other.
An awkward situation where they
sit on the beach shirtless
and Joe looks like he wants his shirt back
and Geoff bronzes and does fucking headstands.
Various prophesies.
Remember that time those kids into the dope and the alcoholism gave him a Nazi salute?

The parking lot at that particular Tim’s is a fucking disaster.
Remember how it used to say “DESTROY POWER NOT PEOPLE” in McMurdo’s Lane?
“This world would be a good place for a terrorist” below Kimberly Row?
Fuck y’know, I barely do either, to be honest.

And the headlights don’t come on automatically like the ones I’m used to,
street signs clarify and announce themselves as I pass under them rather than wash over in blur,
across Major’s Path, the airplanes sometimes look like they might land on the road by my mother’s house,
some goodbyes I didn’t know until long after I’d said them,
and the world becomes huge when you measure the small.
Small hellos.

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