Preserved in Fragments

Art by Fabrice Poussin: “Through My Window”


By Ben Nardolilli


In your bed we make a myth of whatever

is at hand on the sill and tables, when we kiss

we join together two of Plato’s Caves

into a duplex where the light and shadows

are both extinguished and we embrace the real


Going further we rapture through a series

of small deaths and resurrections,

minute floods that last for forty minutes

or more and the creation myths of sky

and earth we interrupt time and time again


After libations, we imagine the whole world

looking up at us and yet unable to see

past the Olympus of our high-rise window frame,

yet through it we can spy the city

glittering like the pillars of creation


In the morning, you remain aloft beneath

the sheets and I descend into the underworld,

unable to sing or pluck a lyre to soothe

the Mount Rushmore of despairing, tired faces

sitting in rows under the passing lights


At best I am a demigod when I ride

the express like a sparking chariot down

Manhattan and along the earth’s lid, at worst,

I mill about with a multitude on station

platforms, the best we can be, merely players


Against a desk, pinned by fears of starvation

and rent, I seethe and soothe myself

with thoughts of being a repressed superhero,

capable of leaping over any line break, but

befuddled by the kryptonite of dastardly capital


The night brings a chance to be reborn,

I rise up from the ashes and crumbs

of the keyboard and fly through your window,

a phoenix seeking his Astarte, protected

by the halo of latex, love, and allusions to Ilium