I’m Well-Practiced in The Art of Not Being There, A Poem by Chris Russell

I get that I’m not always here now

in the ways you’d like me to be,

or even in the ways I’d like me to be.

I’m still a kid lost in a dream

of growing up and getting out, and

maybe I’ll always be a kind of ghost.

It’s just that now at 45,

and well-practiced in the art

of not being there,

I can tell you that I can intuit

moments of both cruelty

and kindness getting ready to

crash out of me for no reason at all.

I can smell these ocean-like attributes

in me not unlike the way you smell

a beach before you see one.

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