A Tower

These are the days I like,
When what’s inside has yet
To rise. Softly—
The force of it has long
Since left—a sun reflects
On ruddy, budding shards of glass.
Its light has seeped within
The mantle of the earth.
I wait for what’s
Been incubating, soon
Enough to show, and look
Upon the land, ready to pop.

Once, I scaled a memory
And made it down in time
For dinner on
The deck. Then, a tower
Shone fire into my—I
Am not, by any means, certain
Of my sight—soul without
A gush of sentiment.
It simply was.
The past stood near Mom’s head,
Bordering the current
But safely founded on the shore.

The panes that made it up
Were brilliantly arranged,
Subordinate
To the toil and vision
Of the craftsman; each was
Working for the whole and willing
To be revised. At times,
Though, the lines between, which
Branched like leaf veins
In a dizzying fight
For light, seemed more akin
To fissures in an alibi.

Somehow, the tower had
Been compromised, the whole
Not what I left
Before. Every backward
Glance unearthed new stories
And new refractions of the sun.
A single shape would not
Endure for longer than
A visit. All
The pulling proved too much
For it; all the faces
Buckled, despite their tensile strength.

I’m waiting for the land
To break with new life once
Again. Those shards
Are a good sign. I hope
This tower grows and grows
So that I won’t
Have to call it
Anything at all.

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Griffin recently discovered that he’s the unwitting subject of a mural in Southeast Philadelphia. Feel free to use his likeness in your own piece. Photos of the finished work should be directed to griffin.brown@yale.edu.

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