a journal of fantastical poetry

The Dig

by Alex Harper

"Underneath the paving stones, the beach" — revolutionary slogan, May 1968

And beneath the beach more paving stones,
a corner of a house, husks, skulls, a varnished
piece of wood that could have been ceremonial
or just used as a toy sword by a boy
who loved it more than he loved anything
except the goat, which was slaughtered
for a Goddess whose lines were later blurred to softness
by the Romans, and he was inconsolable for days,
not that it matters now and all the stuff that besieges us,
our online reputations, the post we dread, the next place
we'll call home, everything we dream, will be
another civilisation's under-dust, brushed carefully away
on a dig that hopes to prove a recondite theory
about our beliefs, or our technology, or what it was
that made us turn the wheel sharp right
and drive over the cliff, into the sea, our lust
for speed and blood gone mad, turned on itself,
before the light goes and they stop, sit outside
their tents under the arcing stars and sing quietly
as the Goddess watches her creation, sword in hand.

January 6th, 2017

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