Naomi Shihab Nye

The Art of Disappearing

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.
Tress. 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 decided what to do with your time.