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Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage

 

Haven’t we all moved to Poland
to be closer to seriousness

only to find it stuffed with puppets
and Bon Jovi tribute bands?

Who among us hasn’t ordered
piñatas by the score, authentic

from the Mexican store, just
to leave them sitting empty

as an operating metaphor?
Every time we meet I learn new ways

to leave you, the goodbyes distinctive
and precious as hurricanes.

It is someone’s job
to give these farewells names:

The Albuquerque Adios,
the Budapest Buh-Bye, Tucson Toodle-oo.

I keep that gal in business.
I’ve walked away from everywhere, left

lipstick smears through the Wild West
and Europe’s iron heart.

Maybe staying still is a way of giving up
on yourself for someone else

and is in this way a kind of romance
that is beautiful because it is sad

like a tsarist Russian novel
in which there is dancing and suffering,

all that we are born to do.

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erin-adair-hodgesErin Adair-Hodges is the 2016 Bread Loaf-Rona Jaffe Foundation Scholar in Poetry and winner of the 2014 Loraine Williams Prize fromThe Georgia Review. Her work can be seen in journals such as Boulevard, The Georgia Review, Green Mountains Review, Kenyon Review, The Pinch, and more. She teaches writing in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she co-curates the Bad Mouth Reading Series.