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More than a ceremony for goodbye,
the point of closure
is that halfway through it,
you acknowledge that there must be
an order to things, even parting,
and you can’t really let go of them
until they’ve let you,
what bond was there that
life’s tedium makes a habit
of belittling, is stronger where
strong forces force an abrupt end
to the routine that once
bound your lives together.
And after the shock of torn flesh
wears off, after the confused
tears have been wept, your pain
starts speaking in coherent sentences
and makes you realize
you don’t miss the strict mold
of days past, no matter how
accustomed to it you once were,
no matter how you used to
or tried so hard to fit;
but the hands that have touched you,
they are what’s missing.
And the bleeding that does not cease
is because they have denied you closure,
the chance to touch them one last time
and know it. All the days
you took for granted, surrounded
by their warm, beating hearts.
You suddenly miss it.
You don’t mind the cold;
you’ve been alone many times before.
But them. You need their permission
to turn your back on the part of yourself
that their presence made complete.
Just that chance.
Only then can you silence
the echoes of the gunshot, the chaos
that was you the last time they caught
a glimpse of you, before the curtain fell.
You will not be all right until
those old eyes fall again on your smile.

We all of us have been
mercilessly severed from the place
without which we probably would never
have crossed paths. But it helps
in the healing, to know that
at the end of that story
I still know your dreams,
and know that they have not changed.
The mention of all your names,
that I was once one of you,
still makes me proud.
That we knew each other
in this big aching darkness.
I just needed that day to be with you.
Where we can all raise ourselves,
face up, to show the world
the hand we’ve been dealt.
There was a little rain,
a little discomfort.
But darker tragedies have
already found us unbreakable.
Change is good as long as you remain
strong in my memory.
There are no goodbyes.

“The Winter Light” by photographer Olga Shiropaeva


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