Sep 6, 2011

The Colossus

Written by Traci Brimhall

Read by Sandra Beasley

In the beginning, none of us could tell rock
from bone. Some claim the desert was once a sea,
and the statue we found facedown in the sand

was a god who hardened as the waters dried.
Others say raiders stole it from an imperial city
but buried it when they discovered its curse.

Each morning we welcome bodies
from under the giant and reassemble them
in postures of praise. The colossus daily releases

the fossilized disciples beneath it, but the revelation
of stone is slow. Our mallets grow worn, our dowels
dull. The earth falls away, and still it hides

its face from us. We sleep on its back, dance
on its neck, and in sandstorms we crawl beneath
its hands and pray the wind won’t take us.

We measure the width of its shoulders, take the radius
of its bald heels, wind ropes around its shoulders,
winch it to a wheel, but none of us turns the handle

to raise it. What if we recognize the face? What if
the world doesn’t end here? Everything will come true —
the flood, the famine, the miracle.

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