pearls

Here

Posted in nothing special by maggie on 2008/11/05

   I am up on the fire escape
   six floors high
   at the building's corner
   nearest an intersection
   where the wind blows strong,
   my back to the most open side
   so I can spy on this street
   but still easily turn
   to look down into the park,
   high enough above the busy noise
   to almost touch the quiet storms
   above the top floor two stories up.
   This window here,
   that's Betsy's flat.
   She works hard and late
   so doesn't get in until after
   I have drifted off to sleep out here.
   She doesn't mind when I come by.
   I am the bird
   her mother used to have
   at the feeder outside her kitchen.
   I told her about you.
   Except she thinks you are here
   in the city,
   maybe because she sees me
   always watching for you
   as if she were right.

   I am on the last subway car
   of an uptown local,
   standing although there are empty seats,
   not holding on,
   just holding my shoes
   while my bare feet feel through the floor
   to the iron wheels rushing against the rails,
   daydreaming off on the feeling
   of how nicely crushed I might be down there.
   Nothing rare,
   nobody uncommon,
   just fine white dust.
   I think I may be the only one
   who has taken this train more than once,
   none of the few faces here familiar,
   nobody claiming I have taken their place.
   Yet I am not stared at,
   not even for that little drip of blood
   still running down my arm.
   They seem at one with me
   as much as I am one of them.
   I told them about you.
   Except they think you took off
   the way I did,
   maybe because they see me
   staring out into the tunnel behind us
   rushing out of me like a howl.
   
   I am in a church,
   no really I am,
   back in one of the children's rooms
   where I volunteer my help
   and act like I'm clean
   and keep a straight face
   and pretend no favorites.
   But you would know her right off
   once you caught me here.
   She has everything her mother,
   nothing at all her father. 
   I adore her.
   I cling to every hour with her.
   I feed her her mother's words one by one.
   They want me to explain to her
   how to be saved,
   as if only they knew
   what angel watches over her soul.
   I told her about you.
   Except she thinks you could maybe be
   her mother,
   maybe because she sees me
   get the same look in my eye
   for either of you both.
   
   I am in a very small room
   that has no light
   and only one small window
   very high up beyond reach.
   There is no bed here,
   no chair or table,
   nor any other furniture.
   The walls are bare,
   with no electrical outlets.
   They keep the door over there,
   just opposite the window
   so I will remember where it is,
   but it always remains closed
   unless they are coming in
   or going out.
   I myself don't do that:
   come in,
   go out.
   I watch the walls go
   from white to gray to black
   to gray to white again.
   I watch it from here,
   yesterday I watched it from there,
   tomorrow I will watch it from over there.
   This is who I am.
   This is why they come in and go out.
   This is what I do to keep them amused.
   I told them about you.
   Except they think you are
   not real,
   maybe because they see me
   close my eyes when I mention you
   as if you were here with me.

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