out of a crowd of people as thick

December 21, 2007
By Erin Schoeneman, Birmingham, AL

out of a crowd of people as thick
as the sun's breath, out of the elevator shafts
that cities hide in, out of hearts
that are not empty but whose contents are instead
nothing spilled over the edges.
and the crowd of people calls itself
a crowd of persons because it won't ask
for what it needs and, in not receiving what it won't
ask for, it calls itself cruel.
just ask,
and i will give us all everything.
and the elevator shafts don't collapse
into hell, only into places where there's no
air conditioning, where the lights speak like flames.
the cities aren't burning; they are screaming
with the illusion of burning, and when they have screamed
enough to forget that the world outside is pulsing,
they will sleep.
and each heart
reflects in upon itself, sees its own invisibility,
and believes it sees into the hearts of all.
and it hypothesizes that the hearts of all
are empty, but it only sees. it never reaches in
to realize that its own heart is full, never directs its sight
outwards to find that the hearts of all are ready
to spill over.

and a single drop out of the sky,
the sun's inhalation that cools the elevator shafts,
it falls into a heart and everything
spills over and sleeps and smiles,
and then asks,
and i give us all everything
at last.

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