Statueless Architecture

I passed through nature
into the next. Children
running in unsupervised shadows.
Last century’s fountains learning
not to lie. Risk
to identify with only
one element since one
will die but in
the summer air around
each thought, something is
built and avoided. You
go through an arch
and aren’t the arch,
just infinity of form,
curve’s curve of becoming,
a phrase tracking it
to future’s celadon relief.
As others dressed as
others we were supposed
to meet. Citizens walked
here without disappointment, seeing
no statue or palace
with eleven axes, patient
in the mindless heat—

Brenda Hillman, “Statueless Architecture” from Pieces of Air in the Epic. Copyright © 2005 by Brenda Hillman. Reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.
Source: Pieces of Air in the Epic (Wesleyan University Press, 2005)
More Poems by Brenda Hillman