Dream in Which I Stop to Say Goodbye by Julie Weiss

Dream in Which I Stop to Say Goodbye
         ~In memory of my father, Gerald Weiss (January 26, 1942 – September 14, 2023)

Gather your tears like a fistful of pebbles.
Drop them on the doorstep before entering

the gallery of my life. Toss off the drab
mourning attire, stiff hat, the pain veiling

your face. Toss the regrets, the words
never spoken, into a daffodil field

and do the twist with someone you adore,
someone whose legs haven´t yet

buckled under the gravity of so many
accumulated joys. Smile as though

a jokester dwelled in your belly!
Everyone knows I loved a good joke.

Think not of me but of children.
From the vantage point of stars, the world

is a sparkling clarinet, billowing out
the laughter of every child on earth.

Honor me by not forsaking those who need
the seeds in our full hands to flourish.

When I alighted on the shore of your dream
to say goodbye, what I meant was

I vow to spend my eternity collecting
all these moments of indescribable beauty

for your sake, stacking them in my heart´s
jar as you would seashells or precious stones.

For now, if you wake in a fret, know that
I haven´t wandered far. I´m the glorious

dawn colors adrift on an eagle´s wings.
The sunlight winking across the Bay.

A swirl of butterflies caught, for a second,
in an unexpected tease of wind.


Julie Weiss (she/her) is the author of The Places We Empty, her debut collection published by Kelsay books, and a chapbook, The Jolt: Twenty-One Love Poems in Homage to Adrienne Rich, published by Bottlecap Press. Her “Poem Written in the Eight Seconds I Lost Sight of My Children” was selected as a finalist for Sundress´s 2023 Best of the Net anthology. She won Sheila-Na-Gig´s editor´s choice award for her poem “Cumbre Vieja,” was named a finalist for the 2022 Saguaro Prize, and was shortlisted for Kissing Dynamite´s 2021 Microchap Series. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her recent work appears in Random Sample Review, Wild Roof Journal, and ONE ART, among others, and is forthcoming in Chestnut Review. Originally from California, she lives in Spain with her wife and two young children.

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