To a Young Archaeologist
You dig to know. And yet you know
already what these bones declare:
that flesh must fail, that brains must go
floating dusty on the air.
The sockets of this skull recite
no secret. Did you think to seize
the fire that burnt the seer white
and burst the sinews of his knees?
Around you, wizened shard and stone,
the shapes of all his hours, lie,
creation's residue; your own,
you know, will turn as small and dry.
Will ribs of yours preserve your lust
to dig and dig and never find?
Will you record upon the dust
what fed the fever of your mind?
Master of arts, in love with time,
time will bring you to perceive
that random bits of clay and lime
are all that love can bear to leave.
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