What the Structure Refuses to Hold
Upon brief examination 
the cathedrals of Gdansk reveal 
an absence of quiet death. 
  
There are at least three choices 
when a wall is blasted away. 
This is an aside. I am reminded 
  
of a crazed friend in New York 
who was daily mesmerized 
by shards of glass trapped 
  
in metal grates surrounding trees. 
Upon closer examination, it became 
clear they once were crack vials. 
  
But the cathedral— 
still tottering as crimson rubble, and 
the view of sun through glass: essential. 
  
Yet, it is simpler to brick up 
a dove-ghosted alcove, 
the wall of windows revealing 
  
rooks flapping their wings against  
sleep. Exhaustion results 
in the most mundane of remedies. 
  
Others, older men mostly, sort 
the saved globes of glass by shape, 
color, the particular Mother’s features. 
  
They die awaiting the reconstruction  
of their minds. Better, perhaps, 
to look gingerly forward, 
  
sketch a guess at the future 
face of the Madonna, knowing 
she finds her reflection abhorrent. 
  
Knowing she kisses glitter 
beneath pigeons and a rusted tin 
overhang. Go ahead. Look closer 
  
into anyone’s face. 
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