This was my first time performing a piece that I wrote in front of a live audience! It was a great experience!
I dream of you almost every day –
That’s not true
I dream of you very often –
Or really like sometimes
But in all my dreams
We fail to connect
In the way that my waking mind wishes
I see you in my dreams
With your back towards me
Or working in a city that I come to visit
But somehow, we can’t find each other
No matter how hard I try in my dream
Something keeps us apart
In my last dream
You saw me and wanted to say hi before I was leaving
And I wanted to see you, too, before I left
I forgot something though
So I went back to the room to get it
And when I came back out
I saw that you staked out a spot
To be sure to run into me or see me before I left
You said hi
And so did I
I had butterflies in my stomach
Because I think I was anticipating a bigger reaction
And I was about to give you one
But somehow, in the seconds between your hi and non-reaction
I got deterred
So all I said was hi
And seemingly kept it moving
Until I left your city again
As what happens
Over and over again
In my dreams
You called so we could catch up
You asked how I was doing, given the death of my father
I thought I was fine, so I said so
But I have not been able to feel fine since then
She stood at the edge of the lake, staring down at her reflection. She was beautiful. The lake’s ripples sparkled in the darkening dusk. The smell of pine filled the air. She felt serene and one with the trees. Her left foot continued to dangle over the edge of the lake. She stood tall and slender, her back leg extended as a ballerina does when preparing to leap. Her blue and white flowery dress flowed down around her ankles. Purple and pink painted the sky.
As she continued looking down at her reflection, she noticed the pine trees peaking up behind her head in the water, forming a crown. She thought that was funny, and let out a chuckle that echoed in the trees. Then slowly, she began falling forward, as if in a trance. Her body entered the water quietly, lean like a log. Within seconds, she was completely submerged. There, she stayed, never to return.
He said that he misses his brother.
But if his brother knew where he was, he would cry.
Fading hurts less
Sharp edges cut and burn
But fading makes the pain invisible
He told me why he left
Because I wanted to feel the sharp edges
But now my insides won’t stop burning
I wish I had just let things fade
Sometimes you think you'll have a chance to say what you want to say, until you learn from the unpredictable sequence of life that that chance will never be.
“I know she liked you, but please understand that this is what she wanted.”
He said to me as he explained why I never knew that the woman who lived two floors below me was dying of cancer. I'll call her Teresa. She wasn’t just my landlady; she was the matriarch of the house I live in.
I came back from Holland in December with my souvenir in hand, waiting for the right time to give it to her.
But her door stayed closed for a month. So I kept on waiting until I would run into her while doing laundry in the basement. But she never popped in from running her errands. So I knocked on her apartment door but she never answered. Her son answered and told me she was sick. So I waited until I heard news that she would get better. Three more months went by. Then one day in April, spring finally came. It was the warmest day we had had all year. I heard the bird songs in the sky; I noticed the leaves blossoming on the trees in their new shade of green. The sky was blue. The clouds were wispy. Today will be a beautiful day, I said, as I walked out the house.
And that’s when a woman appeared and told me that Teresa had died that morning.
Teresa found out that she had cancer back in September. That was when I was leaving for Holland. I had told her that I would tell her all about my trip when I came back. But she didn’t want me to know that I wouldn’t see her again.
So today, two weeks after her death, he explained to me: “I know she liked you, but please understand. No one else knew, and this is what she wanted.” I told him I respected that, as I fought back the tears. He said that in her final days, she instructed her son to put out the sun dial that now sits in our driveway. He told me to go outside and read it. So I went. On the sun dial I read the words:
Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be.
I wonder what we would have talked about had I seen her one last time. Maybe the sun dial is my answer. Maybe she had been waiting for the right time to tell me.
*Written as I listened to Bitter by Meshell Ndegeocello