toni morrison

my heart has been saying goodbye

it’s not used to things staying, so it’s been saying goodbye

 

the things that did stay weren’t good, and they didn’t say bye

so that’s what my heart got used to

 

it was learning to say hello

to shaking hands

to keeping in touch

to being touched

and then the good said goodbye, again

and my heart cried and it said, “this is familiar”

“this is what I know”

“this is loss”

 

 

my heart is so used to saying goodbye, to the weight that moves in when you lose what you love

I can feel it, heavy in my chest

an ice that burns

 

so I’ve been learning to say goodbye

in a way that feels warm

a way that melts the ice

 

when you say goodbye to the sun, you say hello to the moon

and the stars

 

and then you say goodbye to those to say hello to the dawn

she brings her dew, and her birds sing

they cry out

and I wake up and I say, “this is familiar”

“this is what I know”

 

the fear of goodbye won’t keep me from saying hello

the good will say bye

the bad will say hello

everything will come, and everything will go

 

I can mourn in the morning

I can dance in the dusk

 

there’s a time for it all

I guess my heart just got used to saying goodbye