As I rest my weary eyes upon the state of this city,
I wonder if I may finally be given leave to leave it.
So often have I dreamt of moving away it seems
a cage to be caught in this grey cityscape, some
black and white movie someone has forgotten
about, and I the lost cat abandoned in the dump.
I wonder if I will ever see snow again or if I will
become loved again, if this heavy note of rain
on a restless sun is all I will ever experience.
I want so much to see other landscapes, wet my feet
in other oceans, feel the salt breeze of other shores.
I am too weary, having loved in this forgotten city.
The peals of the church and the heavy traffic distract,
but my soul knows the perils of what it encountered:
affection turned distant, love turned ill, to illness.
Forgive me, my country, but I want to forget you,
as I have forgotten many things, I want to be done
with you, so I can rest, I want the ordeal to be over,
and yet, I know, the longer I reside here, the longer
the memories take over, and I can’t take it any longer.
Take me to the libraries of books yet unopened,
my story here is done: no backwards look, no longing
touch, no more to save my soul, and may forever
be in the hands of another in the shores of another
place, far, far away from this lonely city that will
forget me, will forget you, will forget us. I dip my
toes in salt water, and it stings, for a moment, to
stay a minute longer. I welcome the sting as I’ve
welcomed all pain into my heart, crucifying me.
But I know my time will come, my place is not here,
and the travel is far, but I will go, I will embark on
a journey, and I will change the feeble rocks of new
earth to the foundations of a building, knowing all
I’ve already left here, all I’m willing to leave behind.
A goodbye which, once uttered, solidifies in the air.
Angela Gabrielle Fabunan was born in the Philippines but grew up in New York City. Her first book, The Sea That Beckoned, was published by Platypus Press in 2019, and her second book, Young Enough to Play, is forthcoming from UP Press in 2021.