“When I confront a human being as my Thou and speak the basic word I-Thou to him, then he is no thing among things nor does he consist of things. He is no longer He or She, a dot in the world grid of space and time, nor a condition to be experienced and described, a loose bundle of named qualities. Neighbor-less and seamless, he is Thou and fills the firmament. Not as if there were nothing but he; but everything else lives in his light.” ― Martin Buber, I & Thou
He watches the sycamores sway in the pulsing wind,
and the sunlight shimmer on the lake,
the way it does on all the homely lakes of summers past.
He runs, the smell of hyacinths clogging the air,
that first blush of spring sunlight transforming the entire world
into a gilded sponge of sweet scents and
shadows of poplar branches on the sidewalk
He leaps across the old wooden fence,
with the agility that comes from an old age,
withered down into a single taught muscle.
he can never stop chasing sunsets.
The moon rises on a girl in a window,
looking out into the violescent dusk of the sidewalk.
She feels somewhat trapped by wrought iron and brown stone,
but her walls echo with the pound of all the heartbeats
and all the stories from the streets
seep through her floorboards.
Voices trialing out of the taxis rolling by,
are laughing gaily: they've never heard
the tolling bell of hardship.
Their days are filled with rushing to the places
where the women crying on the street corner cannot reach them.
A thousand swirling pieces of a letter fly
in the wind currents of his self-perpetuated wake.
They flutter, their small scraps bearing words like:
and I love you
and Who can understand.
Their presence in the windstorm belies their orphaned state,
Sweet words receiving a cold reception of hate.
Coming from somewhere deep within,
the city shines with an internal sun.
Perhaps it comes from that small girl,
who's standing on Brook Avenue,
and saying to her mother,
bitter, worn, and old:
in a voice warmer than a winter coat:
You are good, and that's all they need to know.