Written by Praveena Javvadi. 
Graphic by Quynhmai Tran.

I wonder if goodbyes ever work out that way. 
Where you say what you think 
and you know what you mean. 
Where a goodbye is goodbye. 
When the moment feels like
the end of a sentence, 
on the last page of a book. 
I wonder if it ever works out that way. 

I wonder if they’re ever good, or less painful. 
I wonder if there are goodbyes that don’t feel like goodbyes at all. 
I wonder if there are goodbyes that feel different from this one.

I wonder about those goodbyes, 
the ones where the pain of leaving somehow manages to escape you. 
I wonder, if for those goodbyes, 

the ones where it doesn’t feel like, a million shards of glass are screeching through your skin.
Those goodbyes where,
pain isn’t ripping through the seams and pores of your body, 
I wonder if for those goodbyes,
where the pain leaves easily,
it was because there was never love. 

I wonder if it is the case that with goodbyes, 
pain is always connected to love. 
I wonder if there are good byes 
without any love at all. 
I wonder, 
if those are actually goodbyes.

I wonder how you say goodbye to a place. 
I wonder how you leave behind 
loosely built constructions of sediments and rock. 
I wonder how you say goodbye to a place 
if it was never really yours. 
I wonder how you can love a place 
when it never really loves you back. 
I wonder how you separate a place 
from the memories that happened there.
I wonder how a place leaves the background, 
and ends up as the main character. 

I wonder how places do that to us.
Trick us into loving them,
instead of the people that were there or the things that had happened.
I wonder if you end up loving a place
because it’s hard to separate the memories and moments from each other. 
I wonder if the blur of our past, 
the crashing and collapsing of time and space that happens in our minds, 
if that which is caused by the imperfections of our cognition, 
I wonder if that
that’s what makes us love a place.

I wonder when it is, 
that we actually say goodbye. 
I wonder where it is, 
when our heart ends up catching up to reality.
I wonder why it is, 
that our heart lets that happen without letting us know. 
I wonder how it is, 
that a goodbye changes.
When something becomes, 
a something of the past.

I wonder why we say goodbyes
when we know they’re supposed to hurt.
I wonder how to say goodbye, 
if you’re still technically there. 
I wonder how we end up nostalgic for times 
that aren’t theoretically over but aren’t actually there.
I wonder why we sink into those moments,
the ones that are in between,
instead of the ones that came before
or the ones that we know will come after. 

I wonder why we can’t avoid goodbyes. 
Why we can’t move on
from being there, 
and being gone.
I wonder why it doesn’t just happen,
in a swift moment.
I wonder why it can’t just happen, 
within the time it takes to turn a page. 
I wonder why we know, 
that it can be easy, but wish it were.
I wonder what it will take, 
to let this goodbye go. 

I guess I wish 
that it wasn’t goodbye. 
I wish that it was just 
see you later. 

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