(for M.C.)

With a tentative hug, they said goodbye

He sauntered, backpack embracing him

She ran, ineffable sorrow enveloping her

No rearward squint; anguish must not tarry

The moon turned crescent, full, half, quarter

Once, twice, a million times. She lost count

In another world, another life claimed her

Spring disembarked from the snow. But her

Ring is still cold like ice in the mantelpiece

Obdurate in its defiance of the wrathful fire

In a big space in her heart, he abides…still

Like a squatter on someone else’s property

In her mind she sees again and yet again

His easy form in front of an old computer

Smoking stick after stick of Sampoerna

Punching the keyboard, he bedecks her

With warm silky descriptions of his love

As if carried by a soft whisper in the dark

Did they not say goodbye then? But what

Is goodbye? Is it not the pain on hindsight

That never goes? Oh, goodbye is a word

That deceives even the tongue that says it

Like a man suffering from a ghastly curse

How it deeply regrets the day of its birth.
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