Fall 2008, Volume 5

Poetry by Eric Obame

Requiem for a Dream

I was nine when you moved into my neighborhood
You became the annoying girl next door
The nerve you had to invite yourself into my life
Into the games and conversations my friends and I were having
You do not know how lucky you were that our moms became friends
That mine forced me to be nice to you

I was glad when you went away
Your dad got a new job? Fantastic! Out of my life!
Thus, I grew up without you bothering me
You grew up without me making you cry
I would have eventually

I am not a big fan of the Fate's sense of humor
We both went to college—the same college—on the same campus
And we ended up sharing a class
You had changed
You were cute—not like I remembered you
What happened to the four-eyed fatty my friends and I laughed at?
Maybe, I had changed too

I remember turning around when I heard your name
I remember staring at you for I do not know how long
A pigeon might have sat on my head
It was you
Working out and contacts had done you good
When the bell rang, you came over—smiling
I do not remember what I said, but it was probably something stupid

I guess you know now that I was not really smiling
When you introduced me to your loser boyfriend
He was better looking than me—better car—better body
I wanted you, but I played it cool
You spewed your life on me, sometimes, and I listened most of the time
But when you went to bed, he stayed
And I went out the door
He knew the deal—the way we looked at each other, and shook hands
Chris Rock said something like a male friend to a woman
Is like a penis in a jar
In case of emergency, break glass

I lost my mind that one winter night
I decided to tell you the truth of how I felt
I knew what would happen
I knew that you would say we are friends
I knew that I would be hurt
I knew that things would become awkward

The day I came to my senses
You were not in your dorm
I tried to see you again later, but you had not come home
I called your cell phone, but you did not answer
You always picked up
You liked to talk too much
For whatever reason, I had started to worry
I walked to your boyfriend's hall that Sunday evening
I knocked on his door
His roommate opened, but he had not seen him either
You did not come home that night
No big deal, I thought later
You and he were probably making with the love somewhere else
I had a whole speech ready, about how our friendship meant more to me
About how I was happy that you were happy with him
And I respected that
About how I did not want to lose you as a friend
You know, all that crap from chick flicks, and TV shows for women

I was still thinking of you, when I woke up the next day
Probably because I had dreamed about you and me the night before
It was one of those good dreams
One of those that stays alive after one awakens, and over time
Although the worst nightmares are remembered too
I still have not forgotten it—you and I together and alone
I got ready for my stupid eight o'clock
Why did I think taking an eight o'clock class was a good thing?
Oh yeah, so I could have the rest of the day free
I do not do morning classes anymore
I value sleep now
Anyway, I turned on the television, and ate breakfast
I heard the usual accident on 495
There had also been one the night before
Three people had been involved
Two of them had died at the scene
But the DWI asshole who caused the collision survived
And survives still
He lost control
He swerved into the oncoming lane—your lane
The fact that he was drunk—that his body was loose
Probably helped him live through the accident that he caused
Life, to avoid saying the big G word, is not fair, and it does not care

I am here to say goodbye, even though you probably cannot hear me
I am here to say I love you again, although it does not matter now
Once more, I am too late
You know, I am also not a fan of this eternity stuff
I imagine even heaven gets boring after a few millenniums, or weeks
Like being on permanent vacation
I, for one, want something to do on occasion
I, for one, want to be challenged
Life more than offers that
Still, you have fun with him up there
And I hope that we can get together later
In paradise (if there is one), or back here with brand new years
If it is the latter, next time I will ask you out first

I am going now
If I do not come back, please do not hold it against me

BIO:  "I was born in Africa, and raised in Europe for a good part of my childhood. My family and I came to the United States in 1983, and I have lived here ever since. I started writing poems in college, but the writing bug bite me until after graduation. In December 2002, I received my Master at Towson University in Maryland, where I majored in film. I have written three scripts, and I am now writing my first book. Although I love movies, I am equally fond of poetry. I was awarded the certificate of excellence by the Dana Literary Society (2003). My poems have appeared in various journals such as Pegasus, Westward Quarterly, Red Owl Magazine, Slow Trains Literary Journal website, Fox Cry Review, Black Book Press, Children, Churches and Daddies and Soul Fountain Winter. One of my goals as a writer is to have them published as books."