Art and poetry on page and stage

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Akeem Duncan

"When We Thought We'd Live Forever."

It was me, her...

The bobby soxers. The attaboys.

We smoked jazz cigarettes and took pictures,
hoping that somehow it would last longer than it was supposed to
but it never did.

The future was cruel, knocking us down one by one...

I saw Ruth just the other day. She's still a looker but only I and those who are left ever had
the pleasure of witnessing her in the prime of her pulchritude.

Her soft skin glowed as if she had the sun on a leash.
Her eyes beamed, a no nonsense glare that could cut a man in half.
Her breasts swayed gently every time she made a gesture with her hands...
which was often.

We once slept together during the summer,
after a night of gallery hopping, whiskey and dumplings.

We stumbled home glued at the hip. Giggling and singing “Mercedes Benz” so loud, the
dark windows above became lit and populated with aggravated shadows.

She would later tell me in the following winter, hiding her blushing cheeks behind an
oversized mug of cocoa,

“It was the way you held me that night, all the way home, you held me. Even when I'd let go,
you held me. I was drunk... but it meant something. It meant a lot.

And you weren't sweaty.
You're always sweaty. [Laughs]”

We remained close, cuddling in between relationships but never pushing the boundaries of
our own.

She has a family now, a neglectful husband and an eight year-old daughter she loves to bits.

She no longer finds time to stumble with me. But whenever we see one another in passing,
we hug a little longer than we should, as if to say,

“I miss you
and somewhere in time we're still stumbling,
hip to hip,
never letting go.”

Hailing from the southeast section of the Bronx, Akeem K. Duncan is inspired by an off-kilter harmony of love, drugs, instinct and generational existentialism. His work usually comes in the form of what he affectionately refers to as “receipt poems,” brief but sweet excerpts scribbled on the back of pieces of paper. He is also an entrepreneur, an aspiring curator and currently heads a grassroots art magazine titled Quiet Lunch.