Poem: How I’ll Know That I’m Really Gone | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

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Poem: How I’ll Know That I’m Really Gone

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When you erase my voice from your telephone,
my number from your dog-eared book

When you never speak my name anymore

When the private jokes are forgotten

When you pull the bookmark from my pages,
return the volume to its shelf.

When my recipes are handed down
from the parties they just don’t give anymore

When my scent is off the sheets

When the radio dial is turned

When acquisitions become artifacts,
fossil records of impulse
When my room has been entered
When the books, seashells, rocks, scissors,
papers are inventoried

When my face in photographs
stops you in your tracks

When you have to explain who that was,
flushed and grinning on the mountain top.

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