Are we anything now
but the co-authors
of a vast and lonely library
where poetry gathers dust
alongside theology, and linguistics,
and a treasure trove of in-jokes
we no longer care to understand?
Artifacts of a bygone age
like the Roman coin:
spent, stolen, spilt blood even,
now buried in an unlabelled drawer.

There are no footsteps down these
abandoned halls,
nothing to disturb the silence
(which is not at peace with itself
but longs for noise to fill it
be it laughter or crying it does not care)—

but the souls
in these stacks
are solid things, so solid
that they pass through this world lightly
and no longer stop to ruffle those pages
but move ever on, like an impact grenade
whistling endlessly through early morning fog.


This is day 31 of LABIA MUNDA, a series of forty poems during the forty days of Lent. 

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