Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 8 • Winter 2003 • Poetry

Farewell Sestina to A.R.

Raymond Luczak

Yes, it's now time for me to go.
The frame glass of your image have cracked but I have packed
the memories deep inside my heart.
When I met you, you were thirty-two. I was only twenty-three.
I had left a dull city, my first lover,
and a cheap apartment for New York where in almost no time
I felt so much older than my time.
When I saw you, my entire body wanted to leap and just go
wherever you'd go. But did I want a lover?
I didn't know, but how your curious eyes could easily unpack
the bundles of my soul... Never in my twenty-three
years had I felt so scared by anyone walking close by my heart.

And now I realize I've never seen your heart.
Is it also a suitcase waiting to open at the right time?
Was it as heavy as mine? At twenty-three
were you ever anxious as I was for a lover, to go
anywhere just to help him unpack
the suitcase of his heart? I thought you wanted a lover
as much as I did. My perfect lover
had to be you, with your ocean-gray eyes, your mumbling heart
and your thick hands ready to unpack
and open the shutters halfway for some sunlight. In time,
perhaps, you'd never want me to go.
But so much has happened since I went beyond twenty-three.

And: I'd never wish again to be twenty-three.
It was such a hard age, wanting you as the imperfect lover
who'd want to go where I wanted to go,
and wanting to write my first book with you as its heart.
I envied you having gone to Europe two times
when I'd never applied for a passport. I wanted to pack
my suitcases, and take you with me to unpack
the wonder of my senses in their countries. At twenty-three
I'd thought so much about that one time
we'd leaned towards the East River while fathers and lovers
took pictures of the U.N. to their heart's
content. Once upon a time I regretted you had to go.

Now a new man wants to unpack me as his lover;
no longer twenty-three, I've become cautious with my heart.
You remain a closed suitcase. It's time I go.

Raymond Luczak is the author of Silence Is A Four-Letter Word: On Art and Deafness and This Way To The Acorns: Poems. His first collection of poetry was St. Michael's Fall. He also edited the Lambda Literary Award-nominated anthology Eyes Of Desire: A Deaf Gay and Lesbian Reader. Twelve of his stage plays have been performed from New York to California. Snooty: A Comedy, perhaps his best-known play, is expected to be published in spring 2004 as a book. He wrote, produced, and directed his debut feature film Ghosted; his full-length documentary Guy Wonder: Stories and Artwork was released in 2003 on DVD. His Web site is www.raymondluczak.com.

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