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(a chorus
of femmes)

Brian Dang

— after Ross Gay

Listen to Brian Dang and their friend Noah read "this time".

There’s a window we look through and this time

it has been shattered by a bullet


meant for us. We look through and this time

we see the trees as they shake


reminding us we are shaking and bleeding out

but we do it together in tempo to make music


with our bodies. It is human to shake. This time

we hold on so we don’t slip through


the cracks of each other’s fingers like time

and time again we ask if we can stop running


out of time. We are tired of waiting for time

to make us martyrs. We stopped time


with our own bare hands to wrestle nostalgia

and dreams into the world because our time


is now. We are dreaming and nostalgic for now.

Now is the time we hurtle towards


a choice that will last the rest of our time

on Earth. We choose to be together


for time immemorial plus one day

where we take the time to put away


the kettle (bless its horn) and fold the linens

one last time and say goodbye


to the coal in the kitchen one last time and goodbye

to the skin peeling off from ragged hands


on ragged rags or maybe we just actually burn

it all down to save time and when we serve


we serve ourselves since our time is finally

ours to do what we will. Spending


time is a false phrase. It fools us

into thinking we can’t hold


time together as if it doesn’t flower

and fruit at the same time


when we hold each other. No more waiting

for enough time to kiss each other


for just a moment. We don’t need to stoop

to stealing time from another’s clock


whose face cannot dare conceive of a time

where we have everything we want to hold


forever to look at the stars as we lay our heads

onto each other forever and we feel


ourselves into something like forever and some

say forever is a long time but it is only


a moment in comparison to what it means

when we keep each other


close to traverse the narrow sliver of time

given to us. When you are closer to nothing


you feel everything. Your entire lifetime flashes

before your very eyes and you feel


everything that passed through your body during

your time. There is no more time to be


standing idly by waiting for a more peaceful death

threat written in the stars by some reaper


who clocks us closer to death than a life worth

living. Keep that time away from us. Fracture


time. Mangle time. And above all else, eat it

and feel full. Feel ready. Feel


eased. Breathe. We breathe at the speed of our bodies

and not a second faster. Spring comes


when it wants to come and we come

when we want to come. We will be there


to see Spring because this time,

in the end, we live.


We live

and live

and live

and live

and live

and live!

Brian Dang (they/them) is a Vietnamese/Chinese playwright, poet, and teaching artist. They are a resident playwright at Parley and were a 2020-21 Hugo House Fellow. For Brian, playwriting is an act of envisioning an eventual communing, an opportunity to freeze time as we know it, and a reaching for joy. Their writing has been supported by 4Culture, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and workshopped with Seattle Opera, Pork Filled Productions, Mirror Stage, Karen’s Secret Army, Theatre Battery, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. They teach with Writers in the Schools & Arts Corps. Find more of their work at

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