They lie in parallel rows,
on ice, head to tail,each a foot of luminositybarred with black bands,
which divide the scales'
radiant sectionslike seams of lead
in a Tiffany window.
Iridescent, wateryprismatics: think abalone,
the wildly rainbowed
mirror of a soap-bubble sphere,think sun on gasoline.
Splendor, and splendor,and not a one in any waydistinguished from the other
--nothing about them
of individuality. Insteadthey're all exact expressions
of the one soul,
each a perfect fulfillmentof heaven's template,
mackerel essence. As if,after a lifetime arrivingat this enameling, the jeweler's
made uncountable examples
each as intricatein its oily fabulation
as the one before;
a cosmos of champleve.Suppose we could iridesce,
like these, and lose ourselves
entirely in the universeof shimmer--would you want
to be yourself only,
unduplicatable, doomedto be lost? They'd prefer,
plainly, to be flashing participants,
multitudinous. Even on icethey seem to be bolting
forward, heedless of stasis.
They don't care they're deadand nearly frozen,
just as, presumably,
they didn't care that they were living:all, all for all,
the rainbowed school
and its acres of brilliant classrooms,in which no verb is singular,
or every one is. How happy they seem,
even on ice, to be together, selfless,which is the price of gleaming.
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