[ME sits in the middle of the high school stage. The house lights are off and there is a dim light coming from the production shop behind the curtain.]
ME: Do you have time for this?
[YOU's footsteps that were trying to be undetectable have been noticed. YOU's footsteps have poked holes in the silence ME has gotten used to. YOU considers lying. YOU decides not to, not all the way at least.]
YOU: I have to get going but not yet
ME: I didn't know it could look like this
ME: Universe in such small packages
YOU: He created his own universe?
E: Yes. No. All of them. Some of them. Maybe more. He made so much and they all live in the same house. I did not know there could be this many rooms inside. I didn't know their hands reaching for one another could be this terrifying and kind and rumble and gentle
YOU: Are we invited?
[the audience starts to file in]
ME: I think so.
ME: He does this thing. Magic seems too common a word for it, but it's the one that fits best. Like your favorite sweatshirt from five years ago, how it's snug around the edges but it’s more home than anyone else that holds you
ME: Why did you come here?
[the audience waits]
YOU: My teacher told me once: we come to the stage to find truth or at least stop running from it
ME: You were running when you came here
ME: Did you want to stop?
[YOU sit down next to me. ME and YOU's legs are over the lip of the stage. ME and YOU's heels kick the front of the stage as ME and YOU swing our legs.]
ME: Dalton gives us many stages
YOU: Is it safe?
ME: It's never safe to stop running. I don't think.
ME: I don't know how to end this
YOU: Maybe things don't end like we think they do
[A radio plays in the distance. ME and YOU aren't concerned with who turned it on. Maybe someone in the audience.]
YOU: Like what he showed us. There is a light that never goes out, like that Smith song.
ME: Like the Smith song. I think they got it from Dalton, though.
About the Author
ALEXIS SMITHERS (LEX LEE) is a queer black creator based on the East Coast. Featured in wusgood.black, Glass: Poetry, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and Freezeray Poetry among others, they volunteered for Self Care After Rape and currently work for 365daysoflesbians, Winter Tangerine Review, and Voicemail Poems. They are a 2015 Pink Door Fellow and 2016 LAMBDA Literary Young Adult Fiction Fellow. They tweet at DangerLove12 and you can find more of their work at youhavethewritetoremember.me.