Mark Wunderlich

Dream of Archeology

In the sun, on the desert hardpan, we set our brushes twitching
to uncover the chips scattered across what had once been a temple.

Nine gates opened in the wind, nine gates no longer visible.
Soon, someone found the broken tibia, the net of bones

we recognized as human and my own brush dusted away
the crumbled attar of the grave.

Dust rose up. A shape announced itself to me. Inside
the cracked bowl of a pelvis my mind sketched in a face,

a thing carried there that met the world with its wet and blood-tender
head. The sun sent down its burning sentence, even and ill-willed

as we disturbed the sleeping mother I begged would forgive
this intrusion. Though my question would be answered with decay.

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