Words Instead of a Thousand Pictures

A Centaur holds up the newly flayed
skin of a lion while trampling a man
whose whole face is sheared away
from the marble of the Parthenon:

"Even stone rots," stone seems to say,
with all the old meanings that men
still try to retrieve, to preserve
their flesh burned by light into air.

Classical remnants no longer serve
to keep the straitened earth we share,
yet, wrestling on the heads of pins,
trying to save whatever they mean,

we carve our own grave accents on
their uncertainties, like everything
whose broken pieces of marbled skin
define our faces' fates, being human.

David Schloss