Because Everything Disappears Repeatedly
Mary Crow

Because Everything Disappears Repeatedly

like time, like history, like stone
blocks that topple a Roman theatre
crushed under the Western Wall.

The papers say it was “lost”
but archeologists digging for the Second
Temple exposed unfinished steps
leading to the stage, remains

left after the Romans pulled
down the Second Temple,
and deeper under it the First lies.
Beloved, your palm print erased.

Maze of the Old City.
I wander at dusk,
at noon, and at dawn
into the Armenian sector,

Arab, the Christian,
the Jewish—who held
this land before everyone else?
I write to you, “Don’t forget me.”

Police ban men under fifty
from praying at the Wall,
the Old City’s holiest site.
There’s a man in the house.

He writes at nightfall
letters that jab deep
while he whispers,
“From a thousand mouths.”

Is there always a trace?
Is it always a gift—
that erasure?
The Buddhist statues blown up.

Stolen Caravaggios?
Gus whose ashes
my garden swallowed.
In remembrance?

Two hundred seats
in that theatre,
two hundred restless
as the play begins.

Mary Crow

has contributed poems to American Poetry Review, New Madrid, and Hotel Amerika, and her work is forthcoming in Notre Dame Review, Saranac Review, and West Texas Review. She is working on a book of poems based on the spring uprising in Egypt.