Farewell Goodbye but Not Really

Or a nod done out of instinct
Or a sir in the room still sleeping
with his legs open this far into the morning
when every other dear gentleman
would be walking in the light.

There was a ship and it was sailing.
There was a group of men standing in line
looking in the same direction, suggesting that a war
was happening but only somewhere far

beyond the sheen of a photograph of a sea
seen on the edge of a hat, or the prow of a boat,
which was really the sheen of me trying hard
to be a boy, arm against my hip so only
a splinter could tremble my lip.

I would like to thank the designer of my dress
for the ribbon around my chest
so in the event of any future misdemeanor,
I will have the luxury of an apology
with a flower on my heart.

Farewell, goodbye,
but not really.
Imagine that you are out on a stroll merely

as in a game of kings and queens
where you closed the flower

and you opened the flower
and then you turned around.