Most goodbyes are never said. You understand them like the sky understands how the rain must leave and how the sun must shine again. For that to happen, it has to let the clouds go about their business until they disappear. That’s how most goodbyes are in life. That is how people are lost. We think we can get used to it—this understanding—but life is too short for it. The sky has been doing this for a long time. Even then, it has trouble letting go. The overcast skies have not left the city for the last week. There was a storm with a chance of rain. People looked up in respite. It has been too hot lately, they said. It never rained. The sky still waits—a faded blue cover over otherwise sunny days.
And what of the rain, the cloudburst? It is inevitable. Nothing is the same after an outburst. It rains to clearer skies, but a lot has to end first, a lot is lost in the middle of it all, and much has to die. Perhaps, that is why the sky prefers there to be no goodbyes at all, for it to be silent. It already knows the scale of what is lost: all the birds that lose direction, all the bugs who feel the wrath of the downpour, all the lightning striking here and there. All storms took too much away, too quickly. And all we had, along with the sky, was the solace of being unaffected. We write poems about it, the silver lining, and how the sun breaks still after each storm.
No one talks about the cost of it all. Storms don’t end until they’ve taken enough. All blue skies carry a toll; someone has to pay it, and the others, the untouched, make poetry out of it.