Academic journal article Chicago Review

The Ziggurat

Academic journal article Chicago Review

The Ziggurat

Article excerpt

for Rebecca Beachy

The rabbit crawled out the methane hole

A page trembling in its mouth. Mosquito

Eggs patient in the Chariot wheels

Dumped on the slope. Scraps paginate the air.

I caught one. "Last Day to Save!" The rabbit

Saw me as I cannot see myself and ran

Up to the flame that replaced the temple.

Under our feet the refuse altered matter

Back into air. I read the page

Until it became a mirror. If I could see

As the rabbit sees I'd run higher to escape

The threat. The threat was me. Floodlights brighter

Than the sun. Day all night. My shadow larger

Than myself. Cast on the dirt as it falls.

Word led to scrap, scrap to wind-scattered

Pages, seagulls in the updrafts, The the

Hungry in the squall, their dark-ringed mouths

Open above the waves machines push uphill

The hill's height, seagulls crossed out

In the draft, the ocean unfolds to margin,

Ends when ink ends, moon after moon

In the waste-paper, thought declined thought,

Thought declined world, page crumpled into stone,

A worm gnaws the weight it lives cursive

Underneath, a heart in every segment, a line

Written in the earth, when earth was solid

In the draft, indelible, forgivable, asterisks

Replacing stars, a footnote under the heap.

The dust in my eye is the dust I am

Sweeping off the page with my hand

In my hand. An ancient rumor. …

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