a small goodbye

did you mark how I watched,
taking stealthy measure
of the space (three paces) between
– flinging distance –
but I, too shy to chance it
make this then a small goodbye
though the soft twistings of your hands,
fingers among fingers,
twisted me unbearably into longing
and I, whose fingers
held the maybe of yours,
could not keep you
and could not let you go

© Sarah Whiteley