“Reading Among the Ruins,” by Lauren K. Alleyne

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Poetry by Lauren K. Alleyne from our Fall 2016 issue.

In the temple’s farthest corner
an olive tree stands,

silver-green leaves like a shawl,
its trunk braided

down into the ancient earth:
You are witnessed by it.

A boat hums by, and the fisherman

An ocean opens within you,
makes your body a shore

upon which memory crashes—
returning, returning.

You feel the walls in you becoming
ruins, holy and broken.

In the sky, a solitary cloud.
You give your words to the wind.

Purchase MQR 55:4 (Fall 2016) for $7, or consider taking out a one-year subscription for $25.

Image: Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Vue d’Acropole–Athenes.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. 

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