an outdoor performance by the
westlake park - seattle
september 11 2010

underground here once was a river . . . . . .

outdoor performance

Westlake Park - downtown Seattle

September 11 2010

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I am in heaven now.

I no longer feel the cold.

There was no place inside at night.

The shelters were full.  The emergency shelters too.

My seat in a doorway was made of cement.

I had an old quilt but it wasn't enough.

I shivered and knew I should stay awake

but then the shivering stopped and I

could not remember anything I knew.

I tried to burrow inside my quilt

but my fingers no longer worked so well.

For a moment I felt very hot but then

I hardly felt anything at all.  And then

there were no more questions to answer.

It took my body a long time to die.

If someone had found me they might have been able

to revive me.  But nobody found me till morning.

And now no heat nor cold can reach me.

I wander freely, no hunger, no pain.

I hover near my outdoor friends.

I try to whisper them words

of comfort and encouragement.

I think they hear me sometimes.  I hope so.

Heaven is nice but still I tell them

don't go to sleep in the cold.  Stay awake.

Living is beautiful, in its way.

Sometimes one of them falls asleep

in the cold, too cold, they won't wake up

unless they get help.  I lie down with them

and wrap myself around their body.

I clutch at their body and give them all

my warmth, all the warmth I have,

but that is nothing.  I have no warmth.

No heat nor cold can touch me now.

The only warmth in the world I can feel

is the heat that leaves a freezing body

and passes through me and I

am unable to stop it.

Nothing I do.

Nothing I do.

Nothing I do.

Nothing I do.

Their warmth goes away.

And they go to a heaven someplace

made of ice

like mine

where they never sleep

like me

never sleep

never sleep

always awake   

and saying words

of comfort if we can

wherever we can

and waiting always

awake and waiting

for the next heaven of ice to appear.