Karla Huston

Flash Mobs Always Make Me Cry

like the ones at Christmas where choirs
gather to sing the Hallelujah Chorus
at a mall, preferably one with two stories,
so altos, sopranos and tenors can
make me cry from two levels. No matter
how many flash mob videos I see,
I always have the same reaction. Crying,
while singing “Nearer My God to Thee”
or “Amazing Grace” in church
which reminds me of sitting
with my grandparents on Sunday mornings.
I’m watching a YouTube video of “Ode to Joy”
staged on a street in Sabadell, Spain,
which starts with a single string bass,
a girl who puts a coin in a hat
while the bass player is joined by a cello
and then horns trumpet, trombones slide,
piccolos trill, singers wail and the conductor,
who showed up with the violas,
wags his head in a joyous fury,
hair flying, and yes, hot tears stream
down my cheeks.
It’s like a wedding or a funeral—
those are guaranteed to make me cry;
it’s the chill of being transported
on a surge of beauty, where everything
beautiful creates more beauty. It feels like
being kissed by millions.


Winner of the 2003 Main Street Rag Chapbook Contest, Karla Huston is the author of seven chapbooks of poetry, most recently Outside of a Dog, dancing girl press & studio: 2013.  Main Street Rag published her full collection of poems A Theory of Lipstick in 2013.Huston has published poetry, reviews and interviews in many state and national journals. Her poem “Theory of Lipstick” was awarded a Pushcart Prize and appeared in The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses (2012).
Karla Huston