Friday, July 16, 2010

The People of Pompeii

How vigorous their bodies still appear,
How beautiful. How the volcanic ash
Freezes, softens, then erases fear,
Like snow. They’re running for their lives: their last

Meals still digesting, still flexing muscle,
Still fending off bacteria, as if
All this activity was quite normal.
Pompeian life continues: fountains lift

Sparkling water up toward the sky,
Naughty boys chalk penises on walls,
Slaves hold cosmetic mirrors, dishes dry.
Perhaps a bowl left on a table calls

A hungry fruit fly down, his greedy eyes
Full of figs the air will fossilize.

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