Before Goodbye

By Kelly Grace Thomas


The weight of parting breaks

after sunset, in those hours of cherry-blossom sweetness,

where you’re not far enough away for nostalgia to bud,

but looking back is a drug you’re three days away from quitting.

We sit in our silence, like buoys chained,

feeling the rock of each wave,

wanting to break,

to bow to the power of moments

that hang in the air, like cigarette smoke in the wake of ceilings fans.

The wait to say goodbye sits, like rocks in the pocket of a child

he knows will be discarded on the walk home,

yet he can’t keep from thumbing.

To feel the smoothness of journey.

To touch the rough crevice of movement.

Even the most beautiful trees lose their leaves with seasons

Hold tight to the roots to know the nature of each natural disaster.

And so we spin on.

Sometimes we are part of the rotation,

Sometimes we must rotate ourselves.