Wednesday, January 8


$120,000 TWD

In the morning it felt small.
I knew it was his last day.
We'd said goodbye more than once
already. I brushed it off.

At work I felt normal,
ranting about America, banging out brackets.
Somewhere I still felt
that he'd turn up in the evening for games,
that he was
as usual.

But after my second job, driving home
in the dark, in the wind
It began to dawn on me,
in the darkness.

I realized it suddenly.
My friend is gone. He had to move away.
I want to tell you, he
used to live just there --
By the beach, with rusty pots and dirty
bamboo furniture.

I felt an urge to see what remained
of him there, in that junky shack.
It was darker by the beach,
away from the apartments and markets.

His door had never had a lock,
and it was even darker in the shack;
he hadn't any electricity in there.
When I pointed my light
I saw a ghost ship, a life stopped,
a thousand daily routines suddenly abandoned.

It was alarming how so many pieces of
him remained there -- things you wouldn't think
that one would leave, even if one were in a hurry.
Apple products, notebooks with small writing,
folded clothing in small bags, laid out neatly.
I began to feel self conscious
that he might walk in and find me there.
But he wouldn't. He was gone.

I imagined all these things months later,
covered in dust, still exactly as he'd left them
a time capsule from days of late nights,
on the couch, blasting each other to bits.

I wondered if some person would come
deconstruct it, put it all
in the garbage, and remove him completely.
I wondered how long before his absence
was realized, and his posessions taken.

It was an unsentimental time, but
I couldn't stop thinking that he was
just gone,
that my friend was gone,
my neighborhood empty.
I knew how much it would have cost
to keep him there, it was too much
but I didn't know how much it would cost
to see him go.