The statues left first. A little later
the trees, people, animals. The land
became entirely desert. The wind blew.
Newspapers and thorns circled in the streets.
At dusk the lights went on by themselves.
A man came back alone, looked round about him,
took out his key, stuck it in the ground
as though entrusting it to an underground hand
or as though planting a tree. Then he climbed
the marble stairs and gazed down at the city.
Carefully, one by one, the statues returned.

This Issue

November 5, 1981