–Brooke Bennerup–

 Rome 2007

Penitent monks who made mosaic of reverence.

The moon is new, sickled.
I, too, often wonder
why particulars matter. Our love:
absinth and the bed
on fire. Irma, Cri crying out
reaching, lengthening daily

into self; being before end,
Pantheon’s ring of illumination.
How time can hold.

Street vendor’s magnetic stones clicking

Clock of bones
that so delighted you.

Sun through the ring of pantheon.

We make myth of sun, of burning. When fire
enters flesh
the wrungs of the ladder
collapse. Gore, horror, thread
what is left. How should we speak to the children

of this? They have seen our catacomb
of skulls. Every skull
a world

I know you, imagine your caverns, grottos,
break myself to construct this loss: thigh, hip
bones of the clock; every vertebrae
a memory opening again,
And mother’s arms, Mary, Mary
who washed them.