This poem takes its title from the first line of Szymborska's poem "Birthday".
So much world all at once -- how it rustles and bustles!
-- Wislawa Szymborska
So much world on this little desk. A dictionary! A blue pen & little green notebook.
The radio plays old jazz and lamplight trembles with the bass line.
Someone is frying onions down the hall, and of course, below, a train. We’re
all going somewhere tonight or staying home; we’re alone, or not, sleeping
or wishing we could be, with someone beside us. And the dust! Everywhere.
Our books in precarious stacks, our cats licking their paws, our dogs licking
our hands. We’re full of supper or starving, on our third glass of wine, on the phone
with mother. The children are doing their maths or practicing clarinet.
In the next apartment, the television is not loud enough to cover our neighbor's sobs
or sounds of lovemaking. No one asked for any of this, but here it is,and here we are, all at once.