Brian Toups

The Parthenon’s Scattered Pieces

 

We Greeks remember

What soft, smooth marble can signify

If shaped by believing hands

And worshiped.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Skychild

 

 

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.

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