I always knew that it was there
so that when I suddenly stumbled upon it
in the middle of the sidewalk
I nearly tripped and broke my teeth
all out. Nearly bit my tongue in half.
Nearly tipped my head back
to release all the laughs
I’d been holding hostage.
“Is this then the ransom I’ve requested?”
I posed to the air above the spot, and
the laughs all crowded up to teeth
to peer through with me down to see
if indeed we’d found the thing
we always knew was there, and hiding.
“Is this the hidden thing, now in view?”
I flung the question out finely, like a philosopher,
like Demosthenes with his mouth chock full of
crystallized and quivering marbles
of pure joy. Trembling before the anticipated hatch.
“Shall we hatch then, damnit?!” I cried out for my comrades
now rolling madly about inside my mouth,
frenzied beasts in a zoo-cage riot.
Then, All the laughter in my mouth
got real quiet. I closed my eyes tight as clamshells,
keeping precious pearls safe - avoiding, if possible, unrequited
humor. Then craned my neck downward. Then
focused to my inner core. Then
with a planned and pregnant gesture of near Shakespearian melodrama
opened slowly to see the sidewalk,
and nothing more.
Naturally, I gaped,
shocked to find I had not found
the thing I’d planned on finding all along,
and naturally, when I gaped wide
the orbs sprung out in concert from inside my head
and bounced around the sidewalk
like brilliant rubber balls - red, green, violet -
each one the word
each one the song.