The Spark

I picture you sitting at your desk 
In your room in the apartment 
Or maybe at a table in the corner
By the window. 
It’s the window that’s the key. 
What you hear through it 
Will change you.  

Right now, you are looking at us below
Through the screen 
Its thin metal grill
Pixelates us into small boxes
That disappear to your sight  
As you gaze through them 
At the people gathered on chairs and benches.  

At first, it's just people at a fire pit. 
But then a woman steps up to a microphone 
That you hadn’t seen before. 
You catch glimpses of her words 
Mingling with the roar of motorcycles
Inarticulate distant shouting 
Sirens far away. 

The woman steps away from the mic. 
You expect applause, 
But this audience snaps its fingers. 
You don’t know why they do it, 
But it’s different 
And difference attracts you.  

You lean in closer, tilt your head, 
So your ear is nearly pressed to the screen 
Like an elderly woman
Leaning into her iPhone. 

Still, you only hear shards of words. 
“The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame.”
They rear in front of you, these eyes, 
So monstrous that they are alight with fire. 
They will be with you for days 
Lighting your way with wild rage.  

More snapping.
A woman sits,
A man rises to the microphone.
He reads: “There will be time, there will be time 
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; 
There will be time to murder and create.” 
Murder AND create? 
How can they be in the same line? 

Because of this, you will play with opposites for weeks. 
Love and hate, good and evil, pleasure and pain. 
Until you see the things between, 
The beloved, 
The neglected, 
The destroyed.  

You listen all night 
As each of us rise to read a poem. 
And though you can only hear pieces 
The words glitter 
Like the shattered glass necklace 
That littered the sidewalk 
On your morning walk to school 
Catching the first rays of sun 
As it rose over the skyscrapers behind you. 

You type the words you hear 
Into your phone 
And poems appear. 
Your future begins as you read them 
As worlds unfold 
Rise up 
Crash down
Stretch before you like seas of grass, 
Seas of water. 

This night echoes into your future 
Until one day 
You have the courage to write a poem. 
It is about opposites. 
About sirens and Sirens. 
The kind you run from 
And the kind you run to, 
Caught by an irresistible call.  

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