Illusion is a grid of two-way streets,
an endless network of choices.
Asphalt riddled with diesels, sirens, and street lamps.
Buildings with decisions stacked up to the sky
like trays of factory-laid eggs waiting for chicks.
Dropped ceiling meanings. Angled views.
Helo pads on top. A strange silence up there.
What if the engine fails?
Parachute racks, lightning rods and hose reels.
Tightropes strung from peak to peak.
Wind socks for safety and guidance.
The heavy burden of choosing,
its relentless necessity,
a gnawing uncertainty paved over with habit.
The addiction to data.
An elevator back to the ground.
A dank stairwell whose echoes are polygons,
the past spliced onto the future.
Forgotten, helpful signs over the doorways.
An axe behind glass, the display of violence.
A corridor pregnant with running disaster.
Back at grade, views of the water.
Choices arrayed like nodes on a floating boundary:
river taxis, barges, and pontoons.
Whistles, solicitations, and negotiations.
Advertisements bobbing in the sunlight.
A line for tickets. An empty gangplank,
the logical place for disembarking.
Jet skis, floating tricycles and scuba tanks.
Tours on tall ships recovered from a previous age.
Ropes as thick as your wrist.
Ferris wheels, psychics, and historical society
plaques depicting the regional rates of change.
The present testifies to the power of past,
of choices made by others–
gambles lost, battles won, boldness rewarded.
A quiet absence of the forgotten.
Underneath– subways, rubble and regional trains.
Electrified track, electrified cars, electrified minds.
Garbled announcements. Bungled doorways.
A bedrock scored with rattling choices,
the clickety-clack of scheduled opportunity.
Illusion is the sensation that choices matter,
that the right ones lead out of the maze,
that purpose is a destination.
Illusion is the sensation that our choices build resumes,
that worthiness is our principal shortcoming.
Reality is a way,
a loosening of need,
an easy stalking of being,
a reliance upon the unnameable. Stars in the darkness.
Standing on the platform, waiting in space.
Beings nearby. Beings far away.
A feeling that began in Tokyo returns to you.
Arrivals and departures,
no choices that need to be made.
An acceptance of circumstance,
the carrying of presence, a patience that transforms.
The swirl of water below bridges, the gliding of birds.
Rivets and welds bathing in paint, bolted connections,
the continuous flow of weight into the ground,
an enormity no one can touch, though we walk upon it.
Sleeping and waking blend, a continuity of longing,
a desire perpetually filled.
The awareness of stoplights from here to the horizon,
their xylophone shifts, their syncopated phasing,
the gradation of memory into the breath,
every form an unfolding. Ideas.
Buddha and Christ, sipping tea, paving roads,
setting steel, watering flowers, disappearing.
Every perception an encounter, a beckoning home,
a taste of freedom. Your words fill with sky.
Your heart fills with mind.
Your mind fills with ocean. The phone rings.
Movement that reveals but does not compel.
Running in the rain, getting wet, smelling water.
Silent cues and feelings, interwoven.
Nothing needs doing.
We are a universe anyway.
A familiar smile on an unfamiliar face,
an anger you carry like a newborn,
a sadness you nurse back to health,
a favorite song, a friend you’ve lost,
a friend you’ve discovered. Sunlight upon runners.
Reality is a timeless invitation continually accepted,
a gentle undoing, an easy discovery, an embrace,