We People

Stephen Mead

mostly like walks: coffee cafes, talk river,
occasional laugh bursts & some (lots of)quiet——
Indulgence is insular, & sometimes it’s too much,
sometimes, just right: escape sought in books, movies,
in wondering about others, in not wondering, not——
Long music mornings, afternoons & twilights widening nights
toward a narrowing dawn either fought, dreaded or accepted like slumber.

Then, of course, there’s the dancing, the tangling, the organizing,
the legislating, the resistance or did we give in?

I remember a flash of red: cardinal from the clothesline
2 stories down, that flitting immediacy senses seized.
I remember sunspot days, everything a vivid shimmer, colors:
fuzz enriched. I remember living a single breath with
2,3,4 a.m. strolls of black clarity, of being camera shy of
eyes, other shoppers, other windows, crystal nerves, desperate
anger, anger reined & calm without blindness giving way
to a shrug, a giggle, to a kindness hurt moved beyond.

I hurt for you, you hurt…
& passion entered, enters too, passion linked to all these
things——the walking, the leaving a restaurant & once
in a while,
harassed, smiles
not just getting by because
hatred said wrong: wrong the closeness, even when
there are differences, wrong the surfaces,
the perceptions of what,
who, you & me are.

I remember thinking someday all this would be an artifact,
& money no object (is it?) or maybe even a means,
& the hatred also obsolete, but not the needs, the walks.
Long ago. Some day. Passion. Hand found hand.
Feet, each, a pace, together & diff…
Yes, god knows, & knowing hell, that’s what I believe.

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