Pedestal Poetry: What I Should Have Texted Back

The Pedestal Project is excited to begin featuring poetry submitted by our readers in our Pedestal Poetry series. If you are a Black woman and have any pieces that you’d like featured on the site, please send submissions to

“I’ve missed you.”

Where did you come from?
Who told you that you were welcome here?
How dare you fix your mouth to utter how much you missed me and how things would be different this time?
Who in the entire fuck gave you authority to determine that MY life needed a little sprinkle of different when usual was working just fine for me.

“I’ve been thinking about us. I want us to try again”

After this many years of trying, you’d think we have the cure for every ailment of our diseased love.

Hear me clearly when I say this…

Your love almost took me out.

And the only people who helped me put back the pieces time and time again are the same ones you have run out of chances with.

You can now add me to the list.

“I’ve changed. I’m at a different place in my life”

If you are still at a place where your fickle tendencies dictate our commitment, my dear, nothing has changed.
Did you stop to think that my evolution was pushing me to greater heights because I was no longer under the hold of your atmosphere?
You know how to love me correctly.
You still simply refuse to apply the knowledge.
Look around you.
The different place you’re standing in is only a circle of excuses.
A perpetual cycle of actions that show me you don’t find me worthy of your love.

But, you see, my dear, it’s actually the other way around…

“I’ve changed. I’m at a different place in my life.”

I now know that what you gave me sure as hell ain’t love.
It was lustful, short-sighted, and even had years of loving memories.
But that’s not the love I desire or require now.
I know me better than I ever have in my life.
Mostly because I constantly had to explain myself to you.
You will not taint my new awareness with your old tactics.
The buttons you know to push have been rewired.
I know my worth now.
I see your actions for what they are despite your words.
You are no longer my Kryptonite, but I’m damn sure still a superwoman.

“I’ve been thinking about us. I want us to try again.”

I want us to try again too–to try to stay out of each other’s way.
The past was necessary but that doesn’t mean our future is mandatory.
I want us to say “it’s over” and mean it this time.
My fairy tales with you have long expired and been replaced with a softer, fuller love.
I’m not reopening old wounds knowing that you have no intention of helping me heal.
Let me remain whole, without your interference, once and for all.

“I’ve missed you.”

I’ll never pretend I didn’t love you with all my heart.
I did.
I held on to hope for years that you were the one and that you were the reason it didn’t seem to work with anyone else.
I can no longer love you without reservation.
I had to learn to let go of you and make room for a new love.
Missing someone doesn’t mean you get to retract your goodbye.
Goodbyes are not temporary.
Goodbyes represent finite endings.
Goodbyes usher in a shift of a new era once the work of a season has been exhausted.
I can still miss you after the goodbye.
In fact, I’m allowed to.
I’ve even given myself permission to always remain friendly toward you.
I’ll cherish every lesson and pleasant time we had.
But that doesn’t change my goodbye.

So as you have attempted your final return to me.
Please know that I returned to myself first.
I’m here to stay as the primary recipient of any love I choose to give which will radiate into the man God has prepared for me.

And there’s no longer room for the both of us.

© 2017. All rights reserved. Written by Tekita Bankhead (4.13.17)

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