The World Is Calling Softly to Itself

Here I am watching another bus pass with its long column
Of windows, visible windows, windows
That are always pausing to reflect for a moment
On the wonder of existence, positing Existence
And then guessing again.
I too have seen how windows are always pausing
And repeating something to themselves about
Trees or Houses, about a vertical world,
And then turning away and lying down
Within their own transparency, saying only
Window, calling out Window, or not
Calling out at all.
Here I am sitting at a bus stop, watching another woman
Named Luisa, radiant Luisa, Luisa
Who is always holding her child and softly calling
Luisa! Luisa! to herself until the child
Disappears. I too have seen this.
And then the place in her arms were the child was
Calls out to itself while Luisa listens, until one day
She too disappears. How many times must this happen?
Here I am holding a brown bag, sitting at a bus stop, watching
All the green trees crying Green!
All the cars and houses repeating their instances,
All the women and children so softly calling themselves
In and out of existence, again and again.

And here I will sit waiting for the long bus back
To my house, my house on My Street, My House
That stands holding in its emptiness, quietly saying
My House, My House to itself as though
Trying to remember. Even I have forgotten whose.
Even I know the need that sends a street walking off
In the other direction, asking after itself.
Even I have felt the longing that makes the strong rows
Of houses give up and settle down
In their vacancy, saying only
They're gone, or We don't remember, or one day
Forgetting they can talk, knowing we can't answer.
And here I will sit picturing myself
Sitting at a bus stop, citing my example, occasionally calling
Here I am! Here I am! as though one day
I will answer, and all the while knowing as I listen
That this image calls out softly
Through my existence, but calls out only
To itself.

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