Middle Ages
by Judith Harway

    Eventually, we have to face the truth:
    time passes, and flesh passes,
    and the things we passed for
    fall away like rags. Someone brags
    or someone sings, and suddenly
    the artist is a hack, the soul a sham,
    the word (which, in the end, is all we have)
    reveals its lie. We learn
    the avalanche that buries us
    is ours, the cells of sloughed off skins,
    the dust we're destined for
    because (or so we're told)
    it's our beginning. Eventually,
    our words begin to crumble
    underneath the weight
    of worlds we build, believing
    in no other. I am writing this
    because I love you still,
    because the girl you loved lies
    like a baby fallen in the well.
    And when they bring her up --
    or if, perhaps -- we have to face
    the truth of what survives.

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