Familiar Stranger

by Ebony Farashuu

I didn’t know him from Malik
But from the way
His cheeks exposed cavernous dimples
Every time our gazes connected
I knew his name could easily have been
Last name “MAN”
Hyphenated “FOREVER”

His shiny bald head reflected the disco lights,
Blinking messages in Morse code
And I wanted to send up smoke signals in response.
I was ready to show and tell this man my
Every secret
Providing answers to questions
That had yet to form in his mind

We were two people in a crowded room
But all others were transparent
For my eyes saw only him
Walking towards me
Hands outstretched in a silent invitation to dance.
Ghetto beats faded as we slowly swayed amongst
Frantically moving bodies
That gyrated to a groove
Unheard by our prejudiced ears.
Mental segregation separated us from the masses
and we must have looked divinely strange
Slow dancing while Tupac commanded everyone to
Holla if you heard him.

I didn’t care
His nose was in my hair
His hand on the small of my back
Never attempted to southerly stray
But instead, guided me through the crowd
To a place that granted us privacy unimagined in our
"I knew you in another life” he told me. “You were a
black orchid and I was a Monarch butterfly hungrily
feeding upon your sweet nectar.”
“Is that why I always felt so drained?” I asked.

Past lives and reincarnations aside
He slid his hand over mine
And whispered things to me I’d only seen on paper.
And I, in turn, read him my diary from memory.
I want a man like this, I need a man like that,
Don’t hurt me, desert me, and overexert me to the
point of exhaustion
From chasing this pipe dream.

“Stop running” he told me.
“Stop running. Stand still and let me come to you, for
I’ve heard you in my mind…wandering around, not
trusting me to find you on my own. What you sought
stands before you and what you seek you’ve already

So I stopped running
And stood still
Staring destiny in the eye…
And offered my heart to a familiar stranger.

Familiar Stranger by Ebony Farashuu

© Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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