by David C. Kopaska-Merkel
The City covers a trillion square kilometers;
why create so much artificial real estate?
Existing planets, stars, wouldn’t do?
Wind conjugates the verb abandon.
We do understand emptiness, failure,
we’ve been those places,
but not on this scale,
wind, spiraling through barren streets
like the breath of dragons,
scouring clean what was never soiled,
making new what was never old,
this place is not a place,
those who built it never lived here.
A million blocks encompass all
imaginable forms of architecture,
after that, more of the same —
a hot reptilian wind
howls through the gaping windows
to which it laid claim
a million millennia ago.
How many cultural detectives
have been through here
and found what?
We do know this:
no one knows who made this place,
no one knows why.
Someone or other is always looking:
surely there’s a trace,
surely there is a discarded wrapper,
desiccated residue of passion,
surely something has left a mark,
something besides us,
we who come, who go,
who take no comfort in
the wind from an unseen dragon.
David C. Kopaska-Merkelis the editor and publisher of Dreams and Nightmares magazine, and was for six years the editor of Star*Line, the journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Fourteen previous chapbooks and hundreds of poems and short stories have been published in dozens of venues since the early 1980s. David lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with 2 artists, 3 cats, 1 dog, 2 bunnies, and thousands of books.
Poem © 2010 David C. Kopaska-Merkel. All other content copyright © 2010 Abyss & Apex Publishing.
Art Director: Bonnie Brunish