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The Golden Age

Read by Brian Spears

A house. A bridge. A mountain. How many features
make up a landscape, how empty the canvas.
Our books repeat the seven basic plots.
Another adds, “We’re just a pack of neurons.”
Then we forget everything.

Is this the twilight of the golden age?
An hour in a museum — and I know all about art.
A day in a foreign city — and I know all cities.
A week with you — and I know love.
(Two more weeks, I know the end of love.)

Our lives are comfortable, long.
We go to the movies, even when no movies are playing.
We keep ourselves interested — games, travels,
sometimes a party — till we die from some accident
or disease, but mostly boredom.

Every morning we proclaim: “The world is within
my understanding.” What’s stopping us, though?
These marble hands. These limestone eyes.
The boiling earth. The swollen sun.

Piotr Gwiazda is the author of Gagarin Street: Poems (WWPH, 2005). His poetry has appeared in Barrow Street, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Arts, Rattle, The Southern Review, and The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel: Second Floor, among other publications. He teaches modern and contemporary poetry at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).