Figure, With Multitude

Rain on the roof. The lilies have shot up
a bevy of stalks, green highrises,
each loaded with several buds,
that could start exploding
silently any night now.  I am alone,
but I am not alone.  On the computer,
I could video chat with a woman
in Singapore.  I could talk to the hearts
alive this very instant in Prague.
The smoke is leaving the stacks of Lanzhou.
The blackened men who all day shoveled out
the charcoal kilns of Brazil, sleep now
in the common room watching soccer.
It would be easier if I were alone.
I am not alone.  We are here together,
but we are not together.  The rain behind my cottage
is rushing through, making its clear-haired
sound through the soundless dark
of no human ear.  The desert sun on my back
may or may not lead me to freedom.
I am standing in the door of the pink light.
I am a pink light in an empty alley,
waiting to be recognized in my meaning.
The stone in my hand is a small weapon indeed
against the constellation of my still-born dreams.
I am calling the tendrils and the curling wisp.
I am calling the dark vapors, the molecules
of car commercials moist against my lids,
my closed buds any night now could explode.
We are alone, but we are not alone,
but it would be better if we were alone.
Or if we were together.  A pile of lemons.
Men in white bibs.  I am giving out
cheese samples.  I am slicing the tears
into small bite-sized bits, but it would be better
if we were not alone like this.

*

Sam Taylor is the author of Body of the World (Ausable/Copper Canyon) and the forthcoming collection, Nude Descending an Empire (Pitt Poetry Series, 2014), which develops the lyrical voice of a citizen-poet engaged with history, politics, and our contemporary moment.  He is an Assistant Professor in the MFA program at Wichita State University.  You can read more of his work on the web at www.samtaylor.us.

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