we dig up ancient shards
among the dying cypresses
choked by Athenian smog.
yet cats continue basking
in the hazy sun
the chained goat sways in ecstasy
the Parthenon looks down from creamy heights
lichen and rust nibble the pediments
and tourist feet break the spell
of antiquity’s vibrations
the grass hits
as I look at rusty orangeade caps
thinking Who needs nuclear Apollo?
Nike crashing to grand finale?
we need the anti-Christ
who is probably playing football around the corner
the sweet boy who used to be called Eros
and wants us to be happy.
bring back the carnivorous saint
whose mother is no virgin
she’s Our Lady of Peace Movements
to ban the bomb and clean up the air
she’ll wave her umbrella and change the world.
ah yes, when the grass hits
old worlds burn down and new worlds form
in clouds of brown monoxide morning.
Athens, Jan. 1964