This is how I’ll say hello

With a gasp and a sputter

Half closed eyes in momentary disbelief
That I who had always meant to drown
In a pond of memories and grief
Get to come back up from the water
That I who had always painted my mornings grey
Get to see you -a storm of a person
Leaving puddles in your wake
Destroy me again..
On that day.
I won’t be ready.
I’ll be in sweatshirts and worn shoes
Same way that you had left me.
When you gave up piecing together
The webbing fractures within
Eyes burning, fingers shaking,
lips trembling, voice cracking.
My pulse skipping beats leaving tremors
across my skin.

But then slowly I’ll remember
How you were once
not the storm that cloud me
How you were once
the lovely burn of coffee
in rainy days and cold mid-Decembers
How you were once the haunting dream
that lingers in me daily
And that – once, you were my blanket
in dreary, mornings and fleeting evenings.
How I broke you while you built me.
How you tried to make me laugh but I didn’t,
How we tore and lashed and hissed
in silence that never stopped stretching.

So, darling, we won’t say hello
We will not gaze a moment longer
No nod, not a word, fearing lest we shatter
into heaps of who we were
in this sea of rushing faces
and hurried chatter.
We will not say hello
because we know better.
We should know better
than to confuse that warmth
for the scalding fire that engulfed us together,
We should know better
Better than to look back and try
to feed on the love that only left us thinner.
And we’ll walk on further
Farther and farther
Feeling the tethers on our wrists
go tighter and tighter
and then hang looser.
We’ll walk further
Farther and farther
Saying our hellos
in clenched fists, an unspent kiss between.
And this is how we’ll say hello to the other
Saying goodbye was never on the table
This is how I’ll say hello to you
This is how we’ll say hello
This is how we remember.
This is how we grow apart.