Hum i lity: 6/01
Sometimes I get jealous of other people and wish I were like them. I sometimes even wish everyone were the same, but one day I thought about my wish and decided it was a horribly stupid wish. On the school playground everyone would play the same thing. You couldn’t find your home because every house in the world would be the same. After I thought of all this destruction I liked myself more. I thought there is only one me and I am the only person who can be that person..
The Silly Wish – by Kayla Jordan (5th grade, school essay)
I have seen the naked lobes
of Pentecostal women at the Wal-Mart Store,
Their unadorned necks and broad foreheads
set, like polished alabaster
lifted lovely from the doilies.
I have seen a dog
radiant with pleasure
at the fact of my existence.
I have seen a shadow
tangle with my feet or fade;
He has stretched but never strayed.
We parted for some seconds once – on a high river bluff
I saw him emulate a diving swan,
But I pierced him
Like a bull’s-eye
on the water’s top.
I’ve never seen my shadow
Join the shadow of a bullet,
or that of a falling house.
I have heard
A guitar fluoresce
In my ear,
Felt a flute flutter, dance, or curl
In my brain:
I have framed the moving
Ever evaporating earth
At least 36,000 times.
It goes with the job, and my love.
I have raised my glass at the sky;
Channeled particles and waves
Into my Nikon tele-porting--time catching
Space-mashing--memory enhancing –
light encoding – sun imploding
I have pressed
Fragile disappearing blossoms
Into the future,
placed huge mountains in a box
I have surveyed the tossed aftermath of pain,
and talked to a woman who rode
a funnel-cloud for two hundred feet.
I have stood at the top of the isle
Over four hundred times,
As some angel of a woman
gave her eyes to me
And then her soon-to-be husband.
I have stood two feet away
From the most powerful man on earth --
No one in between.
He ignored me as I clicked –
I thought of leaping up and laying hands:
“Hey, I’m praying for you brother”
but I figure the guys in black
might misunderstand, and drop me on the spot.
Three hours later
I would photograph
The richest man in America;
He was shy and uncomfortable
Before my lens –
and I wondered how he knew
who were his friends.
I have photographed
The un-powerful, and un-rich;
A mass of un-shy children spilling
Like maniac pups into my wide angle-lens,
They stretched their septums forward
Into the glass like horses,
Rolling eyes and making faces,
Pushing me over, in the slums of Juarez.
I have also lived to photograph my children.
Could it really be that
I have seen three persons
Slip into the world --
bud and build like nimbus clouds
play and argue;
Move like ballerinas
in the living room to the booming
a two hundred dollar stereo.
I have tasted milk
From a hidden source.
I have felt the breasts
Of my beloved
Lap against my chest
Like the wake from a boat.
I have seen a woman
who once screamed:
“Don’t you ever say you love me” --
take my hand
and apologize for saying “damn.”
I have seen an encroaching kingdom
Building turrets in our hearts,
The grand physician
fixing broken history.
I have seen
The sun on the sky
Behind the fog
All clean and blonde
Like a compact disk
I have heard
whispers from another world.
I have eaten with the King of Kings.
I have talked to myself
And had a good conversation.
It is true:
I never asked to be born, but if I could
flicker into life for just one moment
in order to answer the question,
How in the world, would I
having tasted awareness
Could I – having been me,
to be anyone else?
I know my pains,
and mine have been enough to question
my continuance, once or twice …
but then, I don’t know yours, and
am not sure, that I could ever
take that risk …
So before I swap my life, for any other
Would he come
with salvation or a camera;
Would he have a taste for small odd verses?
Would he come
with my same wife, or mom, or kids?
Would he have you
(Thank YOU, Thank You .... Thank You very much)