Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

The Overdue Goodbye


i often wonder if
when you sleep at night in a room by yourself,
you still feel as if
you’re locked down in a cell.
no longer 6 x 6 x 6
but really, what is your existence?
my heart feels trapped in jail with you
and i miss visiting hours often–
sometimes i get turned away because
my clothes are too tight or my attitude just ain’t right
or i can’t beat the traffic of nightly rush hour.
this sentence is sour.

you are free, but an inmate
and if i remember correctly,
your # was 98028618
but i don’t remember the exact date
when i decided i couldn’t love you anymore.
at times i feel torn,
knowing that you walk free and i am lonely
and that your dream is you and me
and as a result,
my curiosity fuels me to drive down dark alleys
that are dead ends.

i can no longer pretend that we have a future.
i look at the present
and see the ramifications of the past
and cry over wasted youth and good times
and silly mistakes and getting by
and tattooing our skin to show our love lines
and covering up the one of you that was mine
and replacing you,
erasing you with new memories and new guys,
some who hurt me worse than you
but at least they are fresh wounds.

baby, i miss you
as much as i act like i don’t
but i missed me more,
didn’t even recognize myself after i walked in doors,
was an empty shell whose spirit was piss-poor
and i ain’t rich yet
but i ain’t fully switched yet
and when my new channel comes through past the static
i won’t forget what we had.

my first love, free jailbird,
my old siamese twin lovebird,
if i could say one word to you right now,
as much as it hurts me inside,
i would finally say
the overdue
goodbye.

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4 responses

  1. ebbtide

    you have such a commanding voice and powerful talent… this one left me speechless

    November 14, 2008 at 1:21 am

  2. Thanks you, that means a lot to me.

    November 14, 2008 at 12:52 pm

  3. This one is so filled with that roller coaster ride of emotions that is after-love that I found myself pushing down on the brakes, trying to make it last because I already knew the outcome. Wonderful piece, Farah, and thank you again

    Elizabeth

    November 15, 2008 at 7:35 pm

  4. Thanks!

    November 18, 2008 at 12:04 am

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