Even now they keep their curated distances—
a sitting male nude, studies of mourning
women, the deposition from the cross—
found again in that same silence they
were raised and decided, blood from shadows.
World wars had not undone them.
Those great, fastidious volleys torched
the lot, but not these Millet peasants,
not these Byzantine reliefs. Who knows
who made them? Blithe witnesses
to Turkish executions. Arcades
of French tapestry that once observed
what nation would fall, what lord would pray
before the guillotine. Older than prayers,
they linger on the walls.
The agonies of moonlight sleeve their bones,
unfiltered by exhaust and industry,
the reckless information of the known world,
paraded, parsed, stellated like a thick,
surgical scar across the unreal city.
For weeks they’ve been unseen,
yet on display. Lambent, once,
in the Skirball fire, now silver, some,
now pitch, the elements of their masters’
touch still bared to LA weather.
The quiet conversation of the hours
crosses the garden, empty as Eden.
A ransom wind moans. And Venus,
through the fringe and silver spear,
pities stone Achilles, reproduced.
Jordan Potter is a writer and actor from Huntington Beach, CA. He operates the poetry film studio, Blank Verse Films.