Community Starts Here

Written by: Matt Caliri

Community starts here
Under this tree of sprawling branches
With thighs pressed against sinuous gnarled roots,
Our heads nodding and shaking with whurring yellow leaves
Adorning our heads and fluttering off into the river beside us,
Only to stick to the dipping twigs of the tree in such cool August air,
Such a smoky light, community will start right here.

Community starts here
In this small over-crowded coffee shop,
with faces in late morning glow, as old friends reunite to
the clang of dishes and the sliding of porcelain
On faux-mahogany, elbow-elbow expressions brighten
from the whiteness of day: "I got a copy of my documentary on DVD
In my car that I can give you, if you like?"
"Oh really, well, okay..." This is the post-Sunday Mass air
Where light and love swirl as opportunity and re-emergence
And everything feels as natural as a breeze, with the fluttering of
Newsletters, roommates wanted ads, yoga lessons, and announcement
That a new spoken Word artist is arriving in town who's blind but has a dog and took the
bus from Ohio and reads his words like honey for angels, 
This is where community starts. 

Community starts here
On the playground of a hundred tumbling children
Screaming, tugging, jumping, laughing, crying, and dreaming.
Slow this time down and imagine them all 30-years-old with suits
And private thoughts and caged feelings and fully-fleshed with the
Citizen's kinetic energy to do right and wrong, good and bad,
Picture them as you, then picture how you're reflected in their eyes like
Revolving suns with times for dinner, and now flash back to the monkey bars,
Back to the open-souled shining young stars, here on their battleground,
in this galaxy of fun and terror our community finds it seedlings.

From the cafe to the riverbank,
From the playground to the People's Court of Whatever You Can Think Up,
Community starts everywhere,
But my bathroom.