Arranged in front of me,

to me and my steel hammer

everywhere in this room as vast as a desert

the men

they are like tubular bells

metal cylinders arranged

motionless like a terracotta army

Similar and dumb

but not one the same as the other

similar cylinders

but not one the same as the other:

black iron


stained copper

reddish gold or fine gold

there blue silver

pure platinum

brass of tuba and handle o

industrial cast iron

Similar bells


standing waiting

but I know: none the same as the other.

I know every mouth is the same

but before singing.

So them.

Ritual bells all the same distinct not by shape

but from the toll.

It is not them I am looking for, but the sound.

And here under my hammer they sing each of a different song.

Each releases its own reverb

concentric aura of possibility and splendor

violet vibrations

and gilded

that ripple and innervate

the emptiness around.

I'm not looking for men

but stories

each precious

none ever

the same as the other.

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