you have built

By | 1 November 2019

call me Hadrian’s, call me The Great,
name me ten-thousand more,
but never forget who urged your
hands away from neighbours,
who pushed your fingers into
the carnality of clay and gypsum
so I could stand, stand again—

—higher than a human shout,
a circle of motionless strength
to girdle every square and factory.
you have built bricks on every hour.
bricks in every utterance. bricks
that do not perspire, that form
an indivisible image of—

—a looted, etherised past.
so mix my slurry in dimness
and ignore your spinal ache,
your hips souring from the tilt.
ignore it. there is no rest. not till
the horizon is scaffolded; not till
the clouds themselves are fortified.

you’ve served beautifully.
so why do your children refuse the call?
why does your son find stepping stones across
the creek?
why does your daughter plant flowers in
the riprap?
why do they ignore exigency? ignore my purity by partition?

—you must stop them. beg them
stop. they are pluck ing my slabs like cotton
from a doll. stop. they are crumbling down my mortar.
tapping out my quoins with bell hammers. I can
feel it. I feel a gaping breeze, sparrow flits,
the invasion of moss, curdled roots,
a brocade of ivy on my colourless rubble.

I am of Jericho. I am of Berlin. of history. I am
all that kneels down when the curtain rises.

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