Eternity sometimes feels like
a boundless readiness
coiled up and squashed
into every point there is,
like a swoop of clowns
hidden inside a mote of pixie dust
that’s hovering in the air just
a foot or two in front of your left eye,
all of them banging on the glass
and reciting plays
and brewing antidotes
and tuning chainsaws
and singing scales
and lighting firecrackers
and twitching with anticipation in there,
just waiting on one of us
to snap our fingers just right,
or to utter the magic word
and peel the void right open.
It’s so close you can taste it.
I looked over at Hafiz,
who was staring placidly out over the city,
his arms folded on the railing,
beholding a sea of eerily motionless structures.
How could he stand it!?
Don’t you some days
just want to see the world drop its ruse
and come out with it…?!
What’s all this pitter-pattering around???
I looked at a building
shaped like the business end
of a ten story Pontiac Chieftain
rising up from the ground
and I started getting that feeling again.
It was something about the
realization that even though it looked
like a frozen extrusion of history,
it was obviously ringing inside
of every column, wall and elevator shaft
with the staccato clanging
of a thousand steel frying pans
being thrown one at a time
into a deep gully
of the most cheerily-shaped rocks.
I could tell there was a whole ballroom
of ecstatic auctioneers in there
wound up to a fever pitch,
wantonly extracting secrets from the air itself.
I was starting to itch all over.
So what’s the magic word, Hafiz?
Shhhh….! he hissed.
Can’t you hear it?
Silence, he said.
of everything happening
I rolled my eyes.
Sometimes I think
we’re saying the same thing–
just in different ways, I pointed out.
Well, of course we are, he replied.
He broke out into one of his patented
dawning smiles of realization.
Did I think anything else was possible?
The magic word is magic for a reason.
How else could one word
live inside of every word?
How else could one life
live inside of every life?
and continued my reconnaissance
of the unwavering architecture.
I kept thinking God
was going to honk the horn
of that Pontiac Chieftain
and send a city full of falcons
soaring into the sky.
The silence, I whispered to Hafiz,
to say it another way…