Punctum: Transom

Carolina Ebeid

There is a quality about the rectangular shape of a stanza that is suggestive of a window pane, a sheet of glass through which we can see into another place. I sit up in bed reading when I should be sleeping. It’s a comfort to think that somewhere another person is also sitting up in bed reading, not sleeping. And surely, tonight, in yet another bed a woman wants her eyes to be windows into the soul, but no one looks in. For the span of five minutes I thought, I had all those years misunderstood the concept of the eyes being windows. And I was delighted: yes, I said, the eyes are windows for the soul, the soul is what stares out of them, safely inside the room of you. And then it was gone, the excitement, the long syllable of thought. And in its wake what had that been, a poem? just a room for being, in that night there of no sleep?

Now I am in an altogether other room, this one filled with daylight. There’s a tall window, & above it a second window facing heavenward, & what if you won’t give me heaven? — then let’s call it the realm of heat & weather systems churning. Can I say it out loud? The poem is the window for the soul, & the soul — you, the reader, the beautiful friend looking out.

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