The old language is
the old language
with its lance and grieves,
broken shields
and hammered vowels;
a stairway ascending
into a mirror—see it
climb the old helix,
beneath a scarred
and chipped northerly sky,
rotunda blue.

Sing genetic cloud forms
mirroring the syntax
in reflection, and what
would you have?

Paving stones, rhetoric,
the coping of bridges,
leanings, what
is taken from res?
To reconstruct? To re-
cognize the categories
have failed? That
the index was a lyre.

The lists have grown
lonely, far from home,
houses of worship,
roofs, toy stores and
liquor stores, names,
historical furniture,
descriptions of architecture,
patina in a fanfare city.

I have eaten the air
of that city.