Muscles of stone hold fast
one on top of another,
watch time slip by in tiny
packages, endless streams
pouring forward, memory perfect.

When did this corner round off?
How did this carving waste away?
You needn’t ask; it is known.
Rough-hew blocks exhale their
millennial sighs, add rhythm

to time, note each breeze with
single-pointed attention, your subtle
body, each finger running over,
each spray of graffiti, each drenching
off, each passerby humming.

Observances pile high, dribble into
crevices. Each sun-baked afternoon,
each drunken sky, each note of joy
pouring from eateries, each
starry night over the river.


Inspired by a number of things running together, including this lovely work by Jennifer Knoblock, We’ll Call it Decluttering.