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Page 57

Let us consider the flatness of this page --
for all the fullness of the worlds
it may birth, it remains a nearly
constant distance from your eyes.

Thus, it is safe for you to read
about snarling tigers leaping at your face
or the loved woman one leaves,
never to see her again, her face,
her figure as she stands at the door,
waving, growing smaller, smaller, now
she is just a dark spot in a rectangle
of light, can be blotted out by
a passing car, a thumbnail at arm's length,
now gone, far far away, we can't remember
her face -- but all this lies on a flat page.

Nothing comes near, nothing goes away.
Turn back the pages: There she is again,
waving, smiling through her tears.
There's no tiger, merely a rustle --
not of tall grasses, but of a page turning.

Nothing leaves the page in either direction.
Everything (no thing, really) keeps its distance.

Yet reading has made me laugh and cry,
spurred nations to make war and peace,
enraged youths to fill the streets with
chanted slogans, shattered glass and
smouldering overturned cars. Oh yes,
the flatness of this page, outlasting
its blankness, is only a mockery of safety --
though there is a greater safety
in knowing that its depths and distances
could only have been put there by you,
for if you are the creator of space,
where can you not be safe?

Note: The syllogism is simple: when you read (if not these poems, then any good novel or history), do you not enter a universe? Does that universe not contain dimensionality, space? Are you not looking at and deriving that universe from words on a flat page? Than you must be the creator of space, at least in this instance.

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