The Other Perfection

Nothing here. Rock and fried earth.
Everything destroyed by the fierce light.

Only stones and small fields of
stubborn barley and lentils. No broken

things to repair. Nothing thrown away
or abandoned. If you want a table,
you pay a man to make it. If you find two

feet of barbed wire, you take it home.
You’ll need it. The farmers don’t laugh.
They go to town to laugh, or to fiestas.
A kind of paradise. Everything itself.

The sea is water. Stones are made of rock.
The sun goes up and goes down. A success
without any enhancement whatsoever.

(by Jack Gilbert, from Refusing Heaven)

(poetry and prose that remind me of archaeology, part 1)

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