an ode to the world

Poem by Noor Anwar

Art by Napat Asavamongkolkul

the girl with the black rimmed glasses and red
leather skirt waves at me. it is a ritual done every
friday at approximately nine forty-five in the
morning when the children have filled their cubby
holes and business men with pinstripe suits have
been seated. it is a daily occurence that is
witnessed only by the birds nested above and
every friday i return the gesture with a tight lipped
smile and a nod of the head.

it does not matter
who she is what
she does or where
she is going

while tracing circles on my wrist, my mother tells me that
at the time of one’s birth, a part of the soul is broken into a
million little pieces. like a potluck, they are shared, and
passed and promised. to your doctor, your mailman, the
first boy that had ever touched your lips, and to the girl
with the red leather skirt and black rimmed glasses.

my mother tells me that our shared recognition is
an ode to the world.
An ode to the first brick thrown, igniting the
raising of fists. an ode to the little ways in which
we give ourselves to others, an ode to the million
versions of ourselves, waiting to be known.
among the chaos, and muted destruction, this ode
– it sings out.