Love or Some Other Implement of Exfoliation
“Things have to keep breaking until they’re whole.” –Constance Plumley, “La Nuit”
The thing about the bombing of Dresden
was all the china. An entire industry
reduced to dust in the space
of a few hours.
When you showed
me your heart, Constance, I saw
a street, filled with rubble, blue-
flecked pieces scattered between,
and I asked you if you’d let me be
the jeweler with pots of glue
and molten gold. Days spent
with loupe attached to glasses,
a harvest of shards deposited
in a burlap sack,
then nights spent
at the jigsaw table, piece after piece
rotated, rearranged, until one demitasse
cup approached completion.
my arm and begged “don’t leave me”
again and again; I told you
our work had just begun. An entire
profession remains to be reassembled.
This is the work we do, and from it
we shall emerge, not new, not pristine,
but stronger, a semblance of what we
were before. Imperfect but together.
1The title is a line from Tim Staley’s “Duet”.