Axes Mundi (A Lament for Lorca)

 

 

I would take a little pin, little metaphorical pins,

and I would take a globe, this one let’s say,

and I would find on that globe the very place, the exact spot

where someone died, and not just someone—everyone—

everyone that ever died, all across a globe,

this one let’s say, and I would place a pin there, on the very spot they died.

 

Where centurions fell clanking to the dust,

I would place a pin.

Where great mothers expired, surrounded by their brood at bedside,

I would place a pin.

Where pale rebels coughed up final refusals,

I would place a pin.

Where great wits and shy prophets went wordless to the vale,

there I would place a pin.

 

Pins in multiple, pins en masse,  

in suburbs and cities, and fields across the earth,

clustered, widowed, or closely in twos,

scattered as if fleeing, gathered as if trapped,

Erstwhile cells would declare of a marker,    

forested floors would speak of the lost,

by every turn, to each glance coupled,

memento mori to blazon the dead.

 

Then I would survey the globe of pins, metaphorical pins, this one let’s say,

with the death, the end of each and all, last unliving soul,

marked in place by a metaphysical pin

and I would no longer walk casually on this globe. 

I would walk in awe, and I would walk as prophet too.

 

Then, let’s say, I would have the dead rise up,

each upon their spot, slough the resting deep or fathom

and I would have them call to us,

and I would have them cry their names,

and I would have them list their fates,                                                                                       and I would not slightly walk the globe, this one, let us say.

I would walk in awe and I would walk a prophet godless.