You! Inez!


For Mariah 02.15.16

In honor of a Valentine’s weekend spent amongst a group of artists in a house in Asbury Park lacking insulation, but full of love, I’m going to post the first section of a piece-in-progress titled, You! Inez! The title is taken form an Alice Dunbar-Nelson poem and the piece works as both poem and play. I’ve tagged it as a “love song in four parts.”

I. Seeing You

Do you remember the night we met?

It was in that dive right off campus,
that seedy place we all loved
with the parking tickets tacked
proudly behind the bar.

I was done with a double shift
and ready to unwind.

You wore jeans and a v-neck,
and you wore them both so well.
I’m not sure what love at first sight
really means or looks like, but
I knew I wanted you starting then.

You, Inez,
have always been beautiful.
Your own brand.
Your thick black hair,
your clear, smooth brown skin.
The type of person
everyone wants to know.
But that night, I was first in line.

Do you remember the first words
you said to me?
“Hey. I saw you checking me out.”

I laughed.
I loved how you called me out like that.

We were learning each other,
flirting in the spaces
in between our sentences.
My work friends gave us our space—
They knew what was happening. You couldn’t miss it.
Already, as we sipped our drinks at the bar,
there was a force field—electric.
I swear.

One drink at a time,
we loosened;
A hand to the knee,
another to a shoulder.
Our bodies leaned in,
lit up, listening.

When I see that night,
I see laughter.
The jokes themselves
lost in time,
but the way you tilted your head
and pursed your lips and eyes,
each laugh like a fresh shot of tequila,
is pinned to my memory.

You, Inez,
are the most beautiful person I’ve ever met.


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