I am writing from 29 to tell youwe live. I remember our dreams,the long white halls with no end,and how when we tried to imaginelife after high school, it was blankand solid as a grave. We thoughtthat meant there was no futurefor us, and practiced acceptingour absence from our own lives—no more best friendships, schooldances, no more yearning for boysto whom we were already invisible.Now, we are almost twice your age.The face we couldn’t envisage is yoursbut leaner, with shadows of momin its profile. In two years, we willstep on our first plane, and fallin love with flight. We will movelike wind across the world: weconjugate French class verbs in Parisand Nice; we follow Jesus to Bethlehemand Galilee; we have lived in placesyou do not yet know exist. I see nowthat it will all begin with you—the path away from home markedwith nothing, who could walk itbut the girl who has already made peace [End Page 120] with her own end? 15, looking back,I understand our quiet death-wait,the surprise of our persistent, daily waking:We never could have imagined this. [End Page 121]
Lauren K. Alleyne is a native of Trinidad and Tobago. She is a Cave Canem graduate and is currently the poet-in-residence and assistant professor of English at the University of Dubuque. Her work has appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Crab Orchard Review, Cimarron Review, Black Arts Quarterly, The Caribbean Writer, and elsewhere. She is the co-editor of From the Heart of Brooklyn, and her first collection of poems, Difficult Fruit (Peepal Tree P), is forthcoming.