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 robin? 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 else: the word between compare and contrast– the word and. there it stands a bridge between black and white here and there you and me. and, all and everything. and together, let us pause let us listen.