Falling Cities

Saying goodbye
is never good enough.
I say it so that
it might last me
through all the years
without you,
but it doesn’t.
It hangs on
for a micromoment
in time,
long enough
for me to feel
tendrils of satisfaction
creeping up my arms,
and then it sinks away
under piles of waves
and misty misplaced memories
where we were one
and I wasn’t undone.
Your features are foggy
and I can’t trust my brain
to not betray me,
so I write you
into someone I know,
someone I used to know.
But it’s not always about words.
Sometimes they are weak
and dying
before they escape
from our lips
or pens
or fingers.
My words can’t win
the battle to your heart.
They are broken bottles
on alley floors,
shattered windows
in vacant towers
that used to hold love
and life
and future.
Words are not cement.
They cannot bind us together
like rope and steel.
Goodbyes only last
for a moment
and words grow weary
in our lungs
like the flowers
you planted
on a windy day
with sand in my toes.
I can’t breathe
when I think of
gone
and
alone
and
never.
So I paper mache
my words
and attempt to build
falling cities
to hold me up
until your goodbyes
turn around
and wave.

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