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2004-09-29

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington
B. 4.29.1899 Washington, DC / D. 5.24.1974 New York City
Cancer

I attempt while on the subway to realize that God is there
and if there, everywhere
to realize a linking presence, force, or element, while hoping to perceive
if element, then somewhere off the right edge of the heavy gases row
the living God I saw last year on the 7 train in Queens, when, on a packed car draining off a US Open night session and a Mets game, I gave up my seat to a sweet little old lady
(if not me, nobody—believe me I waited).
Somewhere before the next stop, the dense rectangle of crowd around me began to glow and hum with intelligence, agency, and joy. Every person I looked at, I could see was intelligent, was doing his or her best, however difficult, filled with joy
and if filled, then by something.
The vision lasted all the way along the elevated line, almost to Manhattan
which if it happened in Queens, I figure could happen again anywhere.

Consolation Site: Credit where credit is due

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