Do You Know This Goodbye?


Do You Know This Goodbye

My goodbyes are spinning round
Like our tuxedo wearing cat
Donning daily her puffed paws, slippering her in silence
White like the Southern cash-cow, cotton
Out of boredom, half-wittedness, and ingenuity
She chases her tail
Becomes a blue streak
Changed in the circling
What was the clear delineation of black and white
Marked by etched lines that move neither by force or fate
Is no more
When weary she will stop the cycle of circling back around

That G in goodbye, guttural in grief

Have you heard these goodbyes
The ones that echo, boomeranging back
Like the white-socked bermuda-wearing tourist throwing his voice down the depths of
The Canyon, grand gesture for show
Easily amused at hearing himself come back
Repeating every vowel and consonant
The “H” is still silent in herb
Hard to believe
“H” does not return, now audible, changed by the journey down to the depths
Just back
Landing on your ear canal on the return trip
Instead of lingering along the lines of your chapped dry lips, broken

I know these goodbyes
But I cannot speak of them again
Instead I will learn to sign
Read braille
Code them into Morse
Change the flag’s position on the pole, half-mast says
You’re gone
Anything but speak them from the depths of grief

Please just say hello
When it is time for you to go

Or close the door without a word
Silence holds your memory well

Who put the good in goodbye
One who never knew