The Parthenon’s Scattered Pieces
We Greeks remember
What soft, smooth marble can signify
If shaped by believing hands
I would give my life to reclaim
Even one sacred stone they have taken from us.
In foreign museums, they hoard our treasures,
In London they hold hostage the proof of our existence
My sister walks her dog under the Acropolis at dawn.
She moves, as if in pain, ashamed to look up,
Her children cannot name the old gods,
They have forgotten how to pray.
Sometimes she touches the daffodils,
Listening, hoping to catch a whisper
Of Eurydice, or perhaps, if she tilts her ear to
Earth’s quivering heart, the distant music of a lyre.
In his childish madness, he made us.
Carefully, intimately, with all the fleeting devotion
of an infant god, he traced our delicate lines.
So frail and faulty a sandbox he gave us
to grow and to learn love.
Here we were forgotten.
The world maker put away his tools, stood up,
brushed the sand like planets from his
crystal blue skin,
and walked slowly, purposelessly,
down the multiverse,
touching the hardness of stars
looking back only once to mourn.
The Curator of Santorini’s Musical Arts Exhibition:
Her Name is Iris
I wintered with a Greek Tsabouna player
Who is also a Metaphysician.
Six notes, she played through flute
And goat skin, and I never caught her twice
In the same song.
We spent our nights in a Venetian tower,
Shivering with cold, our days,
Restoring old instruments, polishing
The strings for future display.
She played to warm her fingers,
Even when the ice wind covered
The garden, and withered the irises
On the windowsill.
Sometimes we danced
Turning tragic circles through empty halls.
The visitors will come again in spring,
In spring, they will love music again.
Slowly she froze, inside and out,
She could not thaw.
I heard over and over again
Her very last sound.
And the tourists will come
In herds of boredom,
Glimpsing the work of our devotion
Through touch screens.
How could I show you what I saw that night?
A rainbow petal, untouched by frost,
Pausing in the emptiness outside our bedroom window
And rising on the breeze
Biographical Note for Brian Toups
Brian Toups studies Creative Writing and Philosophy at Florida State University. When not discovering the everlasting novel, he enjoys rope swings, root beer, and chasing frisbees with as much enthusiasm and slightly less aptitude than a Labrador Retriever.