Thursday, February 12, 2009

the art of disappearing

by: naomi shihab nye

"when they say, don’t i know you?
say no.

when they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
before answering.
someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
then reply.

if they say, we should get together.
say why?

it’s not that you don’t love them anymore.
you’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.
trees. the monastery bell at twilight.
tell them you have a new project.
it will never be finished.

when someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
when someone you haven’t seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
you will never catch up.

walk around feeling like a leaf.
know you could tumble any second.
then decide what to do with your time."


L. Espenmiller said...

I saw on my dashboard that you'd posted. THIS is one of my all time favorite poems. Thank you for providing me with a chance to re-read it - and to take into my bones its radical message.


Chantal said...

this is one of my favorites, jessa. glad to see you back again :)