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Charles Harper Webb - Us and Them

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Us and Them

The same old story: We're the grass,
and they're the feet. We're hors d'oeuvres,
and they are teeth. We stand

in a worshipful line outside the Hall
as they file past in yellow rain-
slickers, giggling like naughty kids.

We know our place by how many
of them speak to us, how long.
We find our rank by dividing

their conversation time with us
by ours with everyone who thinks
we're part of them. We lean close

to catch the spray their words make
as they crash against the Great Ideas:
"tulle . . . restrooms." "limpid . . . tapioca."

"The great Toucan . . . composer
Johann Sebastian . . . Beak." Wheee!
They're the divers; we're the boards.

God gave them wings; us, pseudopods.
Gee, they are Porsches; we are streets.
They're the lovers; we're the sheets.

- Charles Harper Webb

Charles Harper Webb