Watch your steps amid all the rubble.
This is the place where the monument fell,
shattering on the heart that it broke all at once
Winds tore through here to fill the vacuum
that was made, that tossed debris in fits of
the temper lost in sorrow’s tempest.
Who would answer all the prayers sent up
along with the flood waters that rose and rose,
refusing to crest, refusing to abate?
Structures collapsed while the earth heaved
in unison with dark skies sobbing
without cease. Such was the demolition.
See that broken glass, those crooked shards?
They belonged to a window, intact and whole,
rested in a frame that once faced the future.
Can you recall that particular twilight,
repeating that dream I’d had in another city,
when you and I stood behind that pane?
The rain was just falling, just then bringing
down the cloak of night in fine drapery
that ran down our shoulders and our backs.
I’d have sworn that destiny had rapped
on our door for the opening of the wine,
that arrayed in your eyes were all the answers
rejoicing like guests awaiting a toast.
What if I had never let go of your hand,
a hand that had harvested greenery in daylight
to adorn the bathtub rim like arms around us?
You fed me like a server fed royalty,
brought me unimagined treasures in every
single pleasure any man might dare receive.
What if I had never left our bed that night,
never left your fevered skin for any other flesh?
Would the storms have come at all?
Would the monument still tower?
Would the palace window be yet unbroken?
Of all the bodies left for dead in the rubble,
the most tragic one unfound remains alive.
About the Poem
This poem returns to the memory of a very special occasion in my life when I thought that I had found the most important thing I'd ever known. Unhappily, it eventually all came apart. These words describe what it feels like to return to the ruins.
This poem was finished July 17, 2006. It was previously unpublished in print.