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“When Love Arrives”

When Love Arrives (Transcript of Sarah Kay & Phil Kaye’s spoken word poetry)

BOTH: I knew exactly what love looked like- in seventh grade.

SARAH: Even though I hadn’t met love yet, if love had wandered into my homeroom I would’ve recognized him at first glance. Love wore a hemp necklace.

PHILIP: I would’ve recognized her at first glance, love wore a tight french braid.

S: Love played acoustic guitar and knew all my favorite Beatles songs.

P: Love wasn’t afraid to ride the bus with me.

B: And I knew,

S: I just must be searching the wrong classrooms,

P: just must be checking the wrong hallways, she was there, I was sure of it.

S: If only I could find him.

B: But when love finally showed up,

P: she had a bowl cut.

S: He wore the same clothes every day for a week.

P: Love hated the bus.

S: Love didn’t know anything about The Beatles.

B: Instead,

P: every time I try to kiss love,

B: our teeth got in the way.

S: Love became the reason I lied to my parents.

P: I’m going to- Ben’s house.

S: Love had terrible rhythm on the dance floor, but made sure we never missed a slow song.

P: Love waited by the phone because she knew that if her father picked up it would be:

S: “Hello? Hello? heavy breathing I guess they hung up.”

P: And love grew,

S: stretched like a trampoline.

P: Love changed.

S: Love disappeared, slowly, like baby teeth, losing parts of me I thought I needed.

P: Love vanished like an amateur magician, and everyone could see the trapdoor but me.

S: Like a flat tire, there were other places I had planned on going,

B: but my plans didn’t matter.

S: Love stayed away for years, and when love finally reappeared, I barely recognized him.

P: Love smelled different now, had darker eyes,

S: a broader back, love came with freckles I didn’t recognize.

P: New birthmarks, a softer voice.

S: Now there were new sleeping patterns,

P: new favorite books.

S: Love had songs that reminded him of someone else,

P: songs love didn’t like to listen to.

B: So did I.

P: But we found a park bench that fit us perfectly,

S: we found jokes that make us laugh.

P: And now, love makes me fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies.

S: But love will probably finish most of them for a midnight snack.

P: Love looks great in lingerie but still likes to wear her retainer.

S: Love is a terrible driver, but a great navigator.

P: Love knows where she’s going, it just might take her two hours longer than she planned.

S: Love is messier now,

P: not as simple.

S: Love uses the words “boobs” in front of my parents.

P: Love chews too loud.

S: Love leaves the cap off the toothpaste.

P: Love uses smiley faces in her text messages.

S: And turns out,

B: love shits!

S: But love also cries. And love will tell you you are beautiful

P: and mean it,

S: over and over again.

P: You are beautiful.

S: When you first wake up,

P: “you are beautiful.”

S: When you’ve just been crying,

P: “you are beautiful.”

S: When you don’t want to hear it,

P: “you are beautiful.”

S: When you don’t want to hear it,

P: “you are beautiful.”

S: When you don’t believe it,

P: “you are beautiful.”

S: When nobody else will tell you,

P: “you are beautiful.”

S: Love still thinks – you are beautiful.

P: But love is not perfect and will sometimes forget,

S: when you need to hear it most,

B: you are beautiful,

S: do not forget this.

P: Love is not who you were expecting, love is not what you can predict.

S: Maybe love is in New York City, already asleep, and you are in California, Australia, wide awake. Maybe love is always in the wrong time zone,

P: maybe love is not ready for you. Maybe you are not ready for love.

S: Maybe love just isn’t the marrying type.

P: Maybe the next time you see love is twenty years after the divorce, love looks older now, but just as beautiful as you remembered.

S: Maybe love is only there for a month.

P: Maybe love is there for every firework, every birthday party, every hospital visit.

S: Maybe love stays-

P: maybe love can’t.

B: Maybe love shouldn’t.

P: Love arrives exactly when love is supposed to, and love leaves exactly when love must.

S: When love arrives, say,

B: “Welcome. Make yourself comfortable.”

P: If love leaves, ask her to leave the door open behind her.

S: Turn off the music, listen to the quiet,

P: whisper,

B: “Thank you. Thank you for stopping by.”

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