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.

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