Were we just born, an accidental collision, were we born to be, to be something, to be something to others, to be someone to someone, to make, to make a print, an imprint, to leave a fingerprint, to find, to be found, to reach out to those who were born to be lost, who were born from the same ache into an aching existence, who were in these rooms, layers of people, layers of time, yellowed newspapers, stopped clocks, scratches on the walls, dirty soles treading dust to dust, droplets of sweat on stagnant, steamy nights, screams down the halls, cries from other windows, slamming doors, babies standing alone at the top of stairs, the sick thickness, the thick sickness, the smell of cabbage, of fish heads, of snails or sausage, the battering ram of the police, the heat of bodies clutching each other, the ache, the ache, and others and others and others to be born. Is he there, he wasn’t there then, he is here now, not from these tenements but passing through and meant to be. Meant to be here. I see through to him, to see him through. He shares the hope, he hopes to see, he hopes to be seen; do I see his fingers, is he reaching just a bit, oh to feel, just a finger, a fingertip that pulses, that says with each beat, yes, yes, we were both born; I see he is feeling deep in his ache that he was meant to be, to know, to see a sign across his line of sight that it is glorious to be, to say what he has to say, to be heard, to reach through, and if there is no sign, to make the sign, the sign of the cross, the cross through the sighs, to touch, to have others feel. Oh, whatever there is, let there be a reason, for each one who stood there, who wept there, who left there, for him, for me, to not just be born but to be, to be, to be, to be born and then to be borne and then mourned; that’s what we ask, that is the ache, to be born, to be, to be borne at the beginning, borne along by each other, and borne at the end; to be mourned, and then, no, no, no, not until then, to not be, but to be gone.
By Carolyn Wood—written while experiencing artwork by Paul Soulellis
Piece # 3