Friday, May 6, 2016

Simone Weil 12

Belief in the existence of other human beings as such is love. Yellow tape runs between poles at the Kāne'ohe bus stop where a homeless woman has set up beside her shopping cart. (In future, shopping carts shall come with locks to prevent their wandering.) A man lives in the front seat of a pickup truck on Lulani Drive; his bumper sticker reads “Hawaiian: Nuff Said.” He poked holes in the black plastic curtains to let air in. A white man with a white beard sits on the ledge beside Macy's in Kailua, and while I see his eyes, I can project nothing into them. Existence is a narrow space, one so easily fallen from. It's cot, or stretcher, safety's barest minimum. A cell comes with bars, as does a crib.


Karen Skolfield said...

Nice! I love the people populating this poem - they feel very real with just a few words. Small thoughts: the parenthetical musing pulls me out, and really it's not in the future - carts are getting locked up now, so maybe get rid of the parenthesis and change "In future" to "Now." Last line feels disconnected. I do love the line before it about the cot/stretcher.

Janet said...

I agree with Karen about the real people, which brings me back to that lovely starting line by SW--belief in the existence of other human beings as such is love. I had thought, but belief in the existence of other human beings could be fear--and then got to the idea that seeing human beings as human beings, real & themselves, is love. So the poem enacts the idea. "Safety's barest minimum" then is just not enough. The future shopping carts have locks, but no food.