FALL 2013 (Issue 80)

Rebecca Aronson

Buried City

We were stronger than oxen, raised on sweet
water and the musky flesh of clean-shot
beasts.  The clear sky was a flickering vault.

At times the ground staggered under our feet.
We thought it volatile and hungry.
We carved broad halls with smooth stone benches flush

to walls. We seldom drew together, preferring
our solitary lives. One to a home,
one to a bed, and one wide bowl to fill.

When the skies suddenly closed, stonemasons
lifting mallets and chisels stilled; the town
sweeper lay down next to his broom and slept.

This is how they found us, frozen in mud
casts, our bodies dissolved down to bone and
cloth. No one who saw the imprints would know

we were the ones who named the world. Hallowed
the mountain which brought us, yes, but forgot
the hungry dirt that would someday call us back.