This is based on a line in an email from a friend. She wrote, “I am preparing for my absence next week.” I thought that an evocative phrase and the result was this poem.
Preparing for My Absence
Preparing for my absence
I realize I have never been away from myself
Unless you want to count sleep
Which really doesn’t because, after all
‘I’m still there with myself.
So, I am preparing to be away from myself
I don’t know for how long
And I’m not telling where I’m going
In case I should find out and
Tag along with myself.
I’ll be out, not available, incommunicado,
Hors de combat
And if anyone needs me
I’m not here
And I’m not there, either.