Faces in the Floor
their years into a worn stone floor, darker and thicker
as people shuffled through their lives on the flagstones,
and all the closing words and pictures melted, fixing
eyes on the qualia of grief and memory.
the markings surrounded themselves, deepened
into simulacra like storm-foundering wires.
but with the shaping of time, moving scratches raced and
fragmented outlines sketched,
like a charcoal music, or lines in the sand:
a face swirled on itself, shifted to the edges of walls.
nightly it screamed to filled-in darkness
from nowhere and nothing but lines
at the chanting, imprisoned minds,
who washed and scrubbed to the rhythm of prayer,
sliced open by unknown terrors: who lived,
and were studied,
and were stared at with the emptiness of screens.
when at last the floor was smashed into echoes
in late summer’s viscous heat,
dust and rubble and empty scribbles
lay ripped into staggered, silent heaps.