The Last Goodbye Painting by Ric Conn.

Saying Goodbye to Fernande

Fernande, you are leaving me tomorrow
to a place far away; remember to pack your
brown ragged bag with the sea shells that
I got for you from my first visit to the sea –

there, when I saw the waves  uniting the sea
and the shore, I sank my feet 3-inches in the sand
and asked Providence to unite us too,
but tomorrow, Fernande, you leave me

to a place where an alarm clock will wake you up
in the morning; here I have woken you up
with my lips biting your earlobes;
drawing curtains for you, I have

let the morning sunlight draw patterns
on your face that I have carved in my heart.
I even have your passport-sized picture
hidden in my wallet. I look at it every day

when my evening bus fills up with passengers
and I sit cross legged – limbs tired; arms waiting to
wrap you in their hold. Fernande, you could have
your picture too, but I won’t be home tomorrow

to say you goodbye. I will be at the shrine,
praying to the wind gods to not take your fragrance
away while you take those steps eastbound
to a place far away. I will count the seasons

one by one and remember them with songs
that we sang together one morning when we
walked into a graveyard – it was raining and the
dead lay still – not even the pattering drops

or the rustling leaves to wake them up. Against
a tree I lifted you up, your legs clenching my waist
and there were kissed until we ran out of breath and
the rainwater dripped from your damp hair into

our mouths. Fernande, you leave me tomorrow
but remember to pack your brown ragged back
with sea shells – pack your things well and keep my
heart safe, for it doesn’t fit between my lungs anymore.

***

Art by Ric Conn.

1 thought on “Saying Goodbye to Fernande”

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