I looked the city in the eyes.
I saw a squalor started there,
Undending through the ages, old as wind,
And ripping through the startled streets.
From where I stood upon the pinnacle,
I saw every set of eyes and
Every secret pain there living;
And I saw the angels like bright flashes,
Saw the angels gliding silently,
Saw the angels with upturned faces.
They were weeping, and so I wept.

I traveled through the streets to know them all,
And I felt in my insides a split of pain.
In each set of eyes that I knew,
I saw poverty and poetry and joy and good striving;
I saw the desperations involved in living;
I saw the languid infusions of light;
And in each was the gentlest reflection
Of the angels gliding gently over.
And each eye was weeping, and so I wept.

I met an angel, and her hair was dark and long.
She smiled at me with brimming eyes.
We did not speak, for our tongues knew separate worlds:
She spoke with the tongues of angels,
And I spoke with the tongues of men.
But our eyes shone together in a glimmering haste,
And we understood our eyes in the moments we had.
"Here," she said with her bright laughing eyes.
"No there," I said aloud, but she shook
Her head and touched my chest,
And I shook and split open.

From my belly, split, I saw all my heart,
In pieces tiny as the smallest seeds:
Saw them spill over the city
And thud solemnly to the earth,
Where they sprouted up like great trees.
I saw them spill over
The heads of the people,
Saw them land on the rooftops,
Saw them land in the great rivers
And swim downstream.

And then I saw them, caught up
In a great hushing rushing wind
And scatter across to the edges of the earth:
Saw them land in great laughs in tiny villages,
Whose starving people gathered them up like scraps of bread;
Saw them strike the oceans in great splashes
That made the cooling waves crack against the steaming shore.

And the angel spoke, and I understood her:
"Go," she said, "Collect each piece;
Find each shard; grasp each bit;
For here," she said, and touched my open chest,
"Is all life's mysterious good."

And we looked at each other,
Her bright eyes filling my eyes.
They were weeping, and so I wept.
They were laughing, and so I laughed.
She was dancing, and so I danced.

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