Suppose they really did come from
Byzantium, suppose they did sail
from some antique shore,
and in a moment’s indiscretion
—a sudden flash, as if a hammer blow—
they did become ancient bits
of tile and city, stone and shell.
For nothing will quite hide that tumescent
organ peeking out below the swan,
as if amidst a pile of blowing feathers,
nor duplicate the effect that a fractured tile
on facing faces must reveal.
Those stains are stains that the stately robes
should not have in their creases…
A memory of the sun can shine
brighter than the sun itself.
You can’t say that syntax failed them. You can’t
say that it’s a metaphor too obvious
for us to use. The seed is spilled.
The tiles have been both broken and restored.
You can’t even say it is the failure
hope has in store for every living thing.
Trauma follows trauma.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
Mosaic souls, awake.