The Art of Disappearing
by Naomi Shihab Nye
When they say Don’t I know you? —
When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like–
Someone telling you in a loud voice –,
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
If they say We should get together —
It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.–
You’re trying to remember something —
too important to forget.
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