measure the shade
of a shadow,
By the time
I got to the end
I didn’t know
where I started…
Local news helicopters clapped with
their loud sound as they converged
overhead on the scene, where strangers stopped
to mingle at Coffman Mall, thoughts the worst,
converse on occurrences this once;
I heard “she jumped off the 10th Avenue Bridge,”
a bystander rattled off as rain patted
my mourning-black jacket wet,
standing in a crowd of unknowns, nobodies,
with that heavy buzzing sound in my ears,
while eyes of those around on the ground
looked up—to focus, at those looking down,
focusing, seeing their intrigued glassy whites,
for a moment, everyone watched,
then off they went, no “buddy system”,
about their days in different directions.
A monoculture of plants
in a field
offers a species fading—
a group of homogeneous acts
you get the point.
I must have stepped onto the bus
and forgotten my change.
Can I borrow from you?
You, me; us we—forward or backward,
together we are the same.
Parts of a carnal body, whole—
built of dust, thoughts, and air;
no scar is without a measure,
no action still unmoved,
shell of human being outside,
ghost of us within.
We are compelling a kind,
eyes peer to see;
from Franklin and Nicollet to NE,
Middle America to Middle East.
Still, forward or backward, we are the same.
As early March had come in biting and the best were kept inside,
a span of two weeks had passed slowly and sleep had become elusive.
Professors watched second hands tick and gave out faux tests;
these symbolic life quizzes—it’s who makes it who matters.
Desks became confines as concentration went out open windows,
to welcome hands of mild weathered-breeze and new-season sun.
People—tired students, red-eyed lecturers, they didn’t exist;
regular situations became stimuli for a stagnant comatose: why?
No answers formed, except that three days later a person could be a week away,
anywhere—abroad, nothing to do, only to read titles and books which please.
Yet we all sat watching that clock, it moved slower despite us;
now, it would have to stay indoors and assess classrooms of empty chairs.
Scholars and administration would hopefully be in Spring air, taking it in,
with a cold beer in hand and tender sunrays on their back;
minds would exist as empty—blank slates, to pen a tale—an experience,
with no thoughts of what was left sitting behind, with not a hint of rigor.
Coming to with a pin-prick realization
at waking moment’s light,
out of a dream more like real-life than itself,
a concept: that our perspectives are the only reality we see;
we were only dreaming then, we are
only dreaming now, we are but dreamers—
as fast beams of light we flash in dark skies,
and in the still night everything is fine.