Illustration by Cindy Ren

First Date

It was a Tuesday unlike others 

I, dressed in charmeuse
color my lips 
red
I, another woman

She’s brilliant, 
wise but dynamic
she meets you on the
corner
brown eyes ecstatic

The light turns green, and
she starts walking
have you ever seen
a fat llama 
dancing?
You laugh
she’s funny, but
wait.

Scene one, take 
four
I’m just reading lines
it says to be funny. 
Go,

The next one is yours

You’re from Missouri, 
youngest of five
your father writes novels
your mother 
loves art.

We pause for coffee
on the side of the street
specks of 
pastel
fall from the trees

It’s my turn to
share
she waves goodbye, 
you ask me questions–
family and 
dreams

But twenty-one
years!
what words do I
use to share them with 
you?

Scene two, take
one

I beg her to speak, but
only I, am 
left, 
alone on the stage.

A stream of words
pour, 

Slowly 
at first, but then 
racing,
spilling, 
pushing you out—

Our final scene together, on
a Tuesday like every
other.

— Lucy Zhu is a senior in Saybrook College.

More Stories
All 5 covers
A Year in Review (Sort Of)