I asked for one last goodbye.
I couldn't let us dissolve like that:
into a pool of pain,
hurt creating an abyss to lose
all that we had once loved in,
life rafts constructed from pointed blame--
here, take fault and you won't drown in my own sorrows.
I couldn't let us cut each other out,
raw and readily scarred--
there are sweeter ways to make space in your heart.
I asked for one last goodbye
not to ensure for my own heart
that yours was as defeated,
not to know that you knew what you were giving up on.
No, I needed to know that we didn't give up.
That every belief we had in love,
still pulsed in the very hearts
that now, deflated of hope, could hardly hold themselves up,
but would. I asked to know yours would.
I asked because your suffering is mine
and mine yours and I have not yet landed
in a space that is no longer ours.
But I will.
And so I say goodbye to remember,
and to thank you for loving me.
For trembling with me when we touched,
and coaxing trust from my defences,
letting me love you as I knew how,
for accepting what you could
and leaving when you couldn't
pretend anymore that we were more than we are.
Thank you for the strength it took
to love me first and love me still,
and for, in the last goodbye we shared,
left that love, kindly, behind.
As published on Elephant Journal: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/06/i-asked-for-one-last-goodbye-poem/