We are not paintings with their permanence:
We are but windows that frame a wide palette of seasons,
transparent brushstrokes of rain and sun.
We are not single songs,
but symphonies have trembled through our panes,
echoed into our glass so deeply that they reverberate again
when the right instruments are pricked.
We are not day or night,
but we have known the touch of both
whether we threw back the shutters
or nailed them closed.
We are not intact or broken,
but the shelves behind our eyes have been many times rearranged,
and their objects bear cracks from where they have crashed
or been smashed and clumsily pieced back together
(or still lie in shards).
We are alive and apart:
We are to sit before an eternally shifting picture of colors and shapes
that we mold--as it molds us--with our crayon hands and our ripping hands
and our laughter and our tears,
and are never to go outside.
We are together and alone:
We watch certain faces that, when they catch us watching, smile back,
and we wonder whether they, like we, wish one of us
could come inside and sit for a while.
(We Are But Windows previously appeared in Frontier Mosaic, an undergraduate literary magazine published at Oklahoma State University)