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Dec 2019
Normally this isn’t the way it goes, but this time I’ll do differently
And so I ask who are you? What is your name?
Do you like running? I do as long as I can breathe

I dream of a day where I can run freely in silent poplar forests without my lungs weighing me down

What is your favorite kind of music? Do you like pop, rock, or hip-hop?
Is your soul kneaded and worked by tender hands like Jazz? Swing?

I may not look the part, but I love classical music; there’s something about listening to Chopin’s Nocturnes that makes me feel as if I am right there with him, sitting in the pews of an abandoned church whose dead parishioners long ago grew bored of contemplating their sins. I feel as if I am gently sipping his breath like one would coffee that’s still a bit too hot, savoring the stories he weaves out of thin piano strings that taste like moonlight
It is a flavor that seldom is tiresome
I wish I could cook some for you

If you could go anywhere, anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Would you roll into an airport with your luggage in New York? Tokyo?
Would you brave the crushing heat of Cairo for a glimpse of Giza?

I would go anywhere, anywhere you’d like, as long as we come home
I’ll open the door and immediately turn on the space heater—I can sense you hate being cold
While the tea is warming on the stove, we’ll talk about your favorite artist’s best album
Listening until we’re interrupted by the shrill shriek of a teapot needing attention
And that night I will dream that my footsteps will never be lonely

I’m terribly sorry, who are you and what is your name?
I do not know; you are there and I am in here; my mouth is so dry it hurts

Neither coffee nor alcohol can spur me to action
There is nothing I can drink
I can imagine, but I will never ask
I already have, so many times
A letter from the past
Written by
Shawn Awagu
127
 
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