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and, all and everything
i learned the exercise 
in school, how to
compare and contrast.
such as: how is the 
desert different than the
mountains? how is the
blue jay similar to the 
different, similar
how? why?
thirty years later 
i continue to live within 
compare and contrast. 
am i different than you? 
am i similar? how? why?
an endless dance– 
step one, step two
different, similar
how? why?
why? how? 
my mind spins circles 
until i fall into something
the word between
compare and contrast–
the word
there it stands 
a bridge between
black and white
here and there
you and me.
and, all and  
let us pause
let us listen.

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