Breathing

Here is something that never happened: I got to say goodbye.

It doesn’t matter to who. Maybe it only never happened that once — maybe twice — maybe it never happens every time. Maybe I don’t use that word anymore: goodbye; like there was something that could define your leaving — or yours — or yours.

You get used to the taste of it. Not quite loneliness — something more specific — a bit like missing, but not quite. I let them carve it out of me; cut away the excess, until what’s left is a skeleton of caring — only the bare bones of it — just the word: loved, over and over again — or goodbye, when nothing else fits — or dead.

You’re dead, and I’m still holding onto the how of it like time is something that could help me forget. It’s not that I am late, or unlucky, or never where I’m supposed to be. It’s something more than that. This continual disappearance. This cruel magic.

Here is something that happened — that happens — that is happening: Letters, poems, stories — all saying what I never got the chance to say — keeping it open, so no word is the last word — so every period is just a breath.

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