Spring 2006: Issue 79

Maria Hummel

I want to be the people

in the architect’s model

faceless shapely always

striding beside the shiny

walls girders windows halls

the architect wants us to notice

but he can’t show empty

because then we won’t

see ourselves within it

just as we don’t acknowledge

the cliff edge until sneakers

stub against stone we fight

our own tumble to oblivion

& awe draws the precipice for us

mighty & the earth a dark

planet with fire at its heart


I was talking to a friend

about this & we both confessed

we’d driven the long tree-lined

road & wondered about

twisting the wheel & our fear

was not of the twist but of

the wonder the capacity to be

any self suicidal murdering

adulterous the man who

committed the woman who

severed the child who touched

the live—so why wonder at all?

We can’t help it we see

a window & have to imagine

our reflection across it

twenty-three windblown

right after a laugh & what if

death is just like that

before you know it fully

an empty glass waiting

& you a silent movie

of something pouring out