The Goodbye / kim dismont robinson

I am going where you cannot follow
My thoughts have grown wings and
burst from me in a flurry of
unmanageable delight
I am fat with eating ice cream I made only for me
and happy to pay the piper
with long, thoughtful walks on the railway trails
where I reflect on sharks and natal plums
and their relationship to oleander
and dead pigeons and twerking
and skipping stones and Game of Thrones
At no point in these ruminations do I think of you
and wish that you were with me

I sometimes sing in the shower now
Neither you nor I can remember
when last I chortled through Badedas on a worknight
You never cared to listen. The game was on, and besides,
high time for me to set aside childish things
I stopped. I’d always sang for me, but sometimes
my heart would ache from the absence of your eyes
You were always ever elsewhere
Hard and indifferent and not easily charmed
Even when I was deliberately beguiling
And never was there delight in the substance of me

Somewhere between that moment
and today,
I discovered there is a sweetness in goodbye
I delight in belonging to myself again
and returning to the home in my heart—
The seat in me saved for my beloved.
I exhale a fragrance like rotted rose petals
It fills the room, billows over the bed,
and rolls into the hall like a mist
Away from a room no longer framed by
words that have ossified into
unspeakable sacred objects
grown firm and unyielding through the passage of time

And to be sure, goodbye holds a shadow of wistfulness
for everything that could have been, and wasn’t
I smile without a trace of regret
Because I am not the girl I was
Nor am I the woman you wanted me to be


Kim Dismont Robinson is the Folklife Officer for the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs in Bermuda.  Her writing has been published in The Caribbean Writer, Anthurium, Sargasso, The Journal of West Indian Literature, I Wish I Could Tell You: Bermuda Anthology of Children and Young Adult Fiction and Bermuda Anthology of Poetry Vols. I and II.