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All these people who live and die here

have built this tower of papier-mâché

each man, each woman adding a torn fragment


Those who have much to say, dark with broken

words and letters running into each other before

disappearing, Workmen climb up and down


On ladders shouting instructions in tongues,

historians, priests, tour guides, crouch in crevices
chanting prayers, explanations, interpretations


It’s an anthill of dribbling sand where artists,

masons and sculptors labor and sweat, creating

a history of terraces, temples and pigeon cotes


One day when God gets bored or sneezes

the whole swaying structure shatters, collapses

to a plain of skeletons – an airless moonscape

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© Johnmichael Simon



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