It is difficult to be in the museum with you now,
the shining floors abiding beneath our feet.
And the display
of prehistoric tools the earlier versions of ourselves
used to grind their corn to meal.
Dear listener, you don’t know how jealous I have become
of such images of simplicity, however much
they lie. Something in me dies a little here.
Something in me cannot abide this order.
In my city, snakes followed the flood
into the rotting houses. They moved
like completely sane machines, able to execute
their bodies perfectly. Little storms all over,
coil after coil of mimicry.
How wise for the living plagues
to leave only their effects for the archaeologists
to find—here is a life to unearth, although eaten
farther down than would have been expected.
It’s not the bowl of dust that lasts,
nor drought, nor cholera,
All that will be found are homes
and tools of stone. Not what buried us
into our sunlit and quick graves, but not what saved us
a moment longer, either—