Felix Gonzales-Torres (1993)
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This was goat country; we pilgrims
practised the banal patterns of speech
that count for daily commerce
between mortal sacrifice and sunrise.
When we crossed the border,
there was scorched earth, a policy
of the victors; Pyrrhic, with a taste
of drought on the back of tongues.
Here stood a cracked column
rising from a sink-hole; Corinthian,
with capital over-leafed, it was built
to bear the load of civilization.
The priests suggested an anthem
would be in order, a praise song
of sorts for our deliverance;
we slaughtered them in their sleep.
We learned to tell time according
to bodily function; now we are
resuscitating language by stirring
sticks in the dirt of prehistoric graves.
A Skyflower Friday in The Imaginary Garden.