Goodbye Cruel World I Always Loved You!
Already I feel the hour coming.
It quickens like a pulse of blood.
It is coming like the tides.
It is coming like the death of autumn, like the life of spring.
So let me pay my debts now,
The sandwich I ate the other day, a ride down to the movies,
The student loans I have not paid.
To all my rescuers, my many mothers, many friends,
Let me see them all
As they have always been
Behind the masks, the costumes, the accents, the titles
For this little show of ours.
I say come!
I say come!
There is nothing left to hold on to.
Gone are the nations.
Gone is morning, noon, and night.
Gone are cars, gone are houses, gone are debts.
Gone are labors—goodbye Rome!
Gone are the secret loves.
(Except the one always left untouched).
I ask you now, you crowd of worried faces,
Sing me a song of peace—or better yet of joy!
One that you never dared to sing before.
Remember that I left something behind
Not useful in any way,
Except to remind you that I came and lived and fled,
Like a minstrel with a high pitched voice
Who came and played his flute and left.
And now I am there, somewhere under flowers,
Somewhere in a straying speck of dust,
Somewhere in the nebulas,
Somewhere in a poet’s verse,
Somewhere in the jaws of wolves,
Or maybe in my best friend’s pocket.
One by one the eyes, they pass me.
One by one I say goodbye,
And smile and raise my hand and cry:
Go on, go on great horseman, cast your cold eye!
Everywhere they are coming,
Everywhere they are going,
Taking turns at being born,
Always ending up the same,
DNA to ashes, lust to dust.
For what purpose but to work and cry,
And maybe laugh a bit and die?
Look at all of us scattered.
Sometimes like the flies, sometimes like the swans,
Wandering just like kids who rode their bikes on streets I knew;
I don’t think the wheels will ever stop.
So now my loves, my many loves,
Ring out your hands!
Ring out your hands and sing:
Together, together at last!