r.i.p. ntozake shange (1948 – 2018)

One thing I don’t need
is any more apologies
I got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yours.
I don’t know what to do wit em
they don’t open doors
or bring the sun back.
They dont make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didn’t nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars.
Cuz a sorry
I am simply tired
of collectin
I didn’t know
I was so important to you
I’m gonna haveta throw some away
I can’t get to the clothes in my closet
for alla the sorries.
I’m gonna tack a sign to my door
leave a message by the phone
‘if you called
to say your sorry
call somebody
I don’t use em anymore’
I let sorry/ didn’t meanta/ & how could I know about that?
Take a walk down a dark & musty street in brooklyn!
I’m gonna do exactly what I want to
& I won’t be sorry for none of it!
Letta sorry soothe your soul/ I’m gonna soothe mine!
You were always inconsistent
doin somethin & then bein sorry
beatin my heart to death!
Talkin bout you sorry well,
I will not call,
I’m not goin to be nice,
I will raise my voice,
& scream & holler
& break things & race the engine
& tell all your secrets bout yourself to your face
& I will list in detail everyone of my wonderful lovers
& their ways I will play oliver lake loud!
& I wont be sorry for none of it
I still crave vulnerability & close talk
& I’m not even sorry bout you bein sorry!
you can carry all the guilt & grime ya wanna
just dont give it to me!
I cant use another sorry
next time
you should admit
you’re mean/ low-down/ triflin/ & no count straight out
steada bein sorry alla the time
enjoy bein YOURSELF

jenn wasner of flock of dimes & wye oak (2016)

The young, the old, the dead
And you and I presently
Traveling west
Chasing the sun
See where once it was
It will be again

And I have lived
A charmed life
The hand of fate rests
On my shoulder
Still I get the joke
Try to make you laugh
It speaks for itself

The child I’ll never have
The stranger on the sidewalk
All who’ve ever lived
Now are waking up
To wish us luck

When I made my plan
There were some things for which I did not account
I could not have seen myself here
In a place I’ve been before
Seeing everything all over
As if I could really know
As if I am sure
And you say it’s about time
But you know I’m not used to having enough

And there is nowhere I need to go
And there is nothing left to do
And I am sitting watching myself
Watching you
Watching the waiting

When I move to stand
My muscle memory is keeping me up
Real memory is also similarly cruel
To see his face in front of me
Out of the blue, for no reason at all
And I don’t suppose
I’ll be able to tell him how sorry I am
But like the guard settles in for another long night
I keep watch for a danger that I may not recognize
But I keep my eyes open

All I know is this
There are times when, to me
You seem to glow from within
And I wonder how this moment could possibly be
And how much was of my choosing
And what chose me
And I couldn’t care less
When it all adds up
And I feel I am closest to what I really am

And there is nowhere I need to go
And there is nothing left to do
And I am sitting watching myself
Watching you
Watching the waiting