Some goodbyes are sweet —
You smile and hug and kiss
And say the word, believing
That you’ll be better people
When you see each other again.
Some goodbyes are bitter —
You turn your back
Perhaps with tears
Or with a frown, hoping
You’ll never have to see each other again.
Some goodbyes are not meant to be —
You think it is over
That the last chapter has been written
And another one cannot be added.
But then a sequel is started.
Some goodbyes are inevitable —
You hate to part
You know you shouldn’t
But you’re not characters in a book
Or lovers in a rom-com….
These goodbyes leave you feeling cold and empty
Like a house stripped
Of every furniture, curtain and picture,
Of every sign of being lived in,
And all that’s left is a hollow sound
And the echo of one’s sigh
And the memories of a voice…
Such is the goodbye that, in my ear,
You gently whispered
As you kissed away
A tear on my cheek
“Love is so short, forgetting is so long..” is a line from one of my favorite Neruda poems, “Tonight I can Write.” I think it’s a beautifully sad poem that captures not only the pain one feels at the thought that love has gone, but also the courage to imagine that the person one has loved so passionately will eventually move on.
Tonight I can Write by Pablo Neruda:
Click here for the English and Spanish versions.
Click here to listen to Andy Garcia’s reading of the poem.