In the Ruin

In the Ruin
by Colin Dodds

We are gone, so gone from that place
that we have stationed the angel
with the flaming sword before it,
just to be sure we would not go there anymore.

It’s just down the street
from where the world hinges
on the difference between
one piece of paper and another.

Last week is so long ago
that the firemen digging through the rubble
have become archaeologists
digging in the ruins.

They do so to learn how folks
lived a week ago, if any did.
They dare not remember a week ago,
but are lonely for it.

Fall creeps in like an anonymous letter
under a closed door.
Everyone is dead in the ruin.
But something must be done

to guard against our weakness
or to find the right way to die,
to forget or subdue the knowledge
we summon too much of.

The will is strong. The senses
are subtle. The intelligence is deep.
This is not easy
and does not end.

It is the time after the cracked glass
has been shattered anew,
after we’ve been slaughtered, but before
we’ve undertaken slaughter of our own.

By the deli, the jewelry store with its sale,
our neighbors rot in an uneven cage.
There is nothing beneath them but gold
and nothing above them but the sickened living.

The firemen do not dig for clues
The case is open and shut. Nor for the dead.
The dead and the world are so strange,
we think them odd stones shaped by chance.

Forgetfulness is what will wash us to newness.
We can not yet guess if a year, a life
will be the right length
for the forgetting that needs to be done.

[copyright Medium Rare Publishing, 2003]

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