the way of all flesh 17

          roy herndon smith

And the helloes and goodbyes are never stilled. // They stay in the foreground … 
—John Ashbery

the rain on my face
spatters hellos and goodbyes 
into the background

while, in the foreground
the unseen sun casts crystal 
grey stillness between 

caresses of cool
air on my wet cheeks, before
the idea of

can take me away again 
the snatch of the song

children are singing
catches me up and we all
fall down in the mud