Trade Beneath the Aqueducts
In this morning in which I find no translation for morning
in which a cloud of butterflies becomes a rational thought,
I have found two men behind a tree—one on his knees,
black, pressed into the night as if he could patch the hole
the other, white and floating just above, makes with his body.
There are angels,
there are angels.
And between them a pew of flesh, four windows
waiting to be stained blue and—then broken—
and finally, an arched tongue that could carry water
anywhere in this city the governors would permit
the people to die of thirst. Yes, you've heard of this
before: the body as cathedral erected by architects
and bishops with a hunger for spires, parapets, and terraces
but with no patience for foundations—three stone masons
and a canary crushed beneath a slab of rose quartz,
their bodies becoming what keeps this building whole.
You've heard of meadows and ruins, men slipping
between the legs of a river, their priestly vestments
hanging from a branch of a boy's young hand, and there
below the water, in the animal light of evening, the men are made
roan, animals which God will ride through the night
and leave tethered to a tree. Yes, the body as benediction.
The body tattered at its own behest. Yes, the body
the body—but what should be done with these two men
braced against the bare bark of a tree as if nailed? What
should be done when one church is being built around another?
I am so glad