For Zbigniew Preisner

As I read Corinthians 13
out of my Gideons
with deep coke cuts on the back cover
and think of marriage and Europe
and divorce
I am forced to sit in your empty spaces.

You rise like a sea-
imperceptible until too late.
You fill sanctuary with warbling hope.
You sing the final century of a mine.
You know the vibration of salt.
You are commissioned to sit in the pit.

The assembly is held in Wieliczka.
Here you will tell the story
of the nightmare of the rising
and the falling
of humanity in the 20th century.
Here your acoustics will be perfect.

History and philosophy
are who taught you notes.
So many say learn from math
but you say what about Job.
You are a secret garden
that tunnels my ear to make me feel.

In the cave that your people built
and the Germans tried to kill you from
(before you were born you were born to war)
your song was lifted to the sky.
The weight of rebirth in every note.
We are the salt of the earth.


Jeremy Springsteed is a barista living in Seattle. He was one of the founders of the Breadline Performance Series and is one of the organizers of the Chain Letter Performance Series. His work has been published in Rue Scribe, Mantis, Make It True- Poetry From Cascadia, The Paragon Press, Pidgeonholes, Underwood and Pageboy.