Invisible Audiences

Malik Ameer Crumpler
It is of those spirits
Refusing to leave
Having dyed themselves
Now dripping
Sitting in empty chairs
Consuming inabilities to
See or name
What is refused to be
Felt
And so will not be
Seen
 
It is with those spirits
Living in a language
Submitting to the depths of
Particular tones
Improvised from ear to ear
Eye to invisible eye
By ancient fruits
Always offering
Beautiful bloods
 
It is in those spirits
Knowing everything is born with it
Just as those ancient trees
Always becoming instruments
Feeding this fabric
Our skin’s
glowing intentions
Never only to be worn
Never only to be taught
Each empty chair
Being there encouraging
 
It is for those spirits
Hunting tongues
Dealing only with
Those prepared for
Transformation
Offering instructions
That live between the distances
Between urge and act
It is by those spirits
Utilizing automatic codes
Translated between beings who find
Themselves in one another in
Detailed rituals too complex to
ever be the same
 
It is said by those spirits,
“Apparently all those wise ones
who will
Unfortunately encounter
Themselves
Only to find an unfamiliar stranger
Recognizing not a single resemblance
Confident then when asking,
“who are you?” and
“where are you from?”
Upon answering the other notes,
“funny we never met.”
To which the other considers,
“funny we should meet now.”
Slowly they discover all
they hold in common:
Certain memories and even
Relatives…
It is not until the parentage is
mentioned
That they discern kinship
At which point rejection is rejected
For a truth stands before them
Each a mirror made of man
There then every word is
Wordless
Looking away at all the ‘somethings’
They then acknowledge
Their mutual fear at finding
Others like themselves”

 

We who watch those chairs
Know neither the audience that has been
Nor the audience that shall be
We know only that the chairs witness us
Witnessing that they are no more empty
Than all those ancient vases that house
All those invisible audiences

Invisible Audiences