How on earth did it happen, I used to wonder
that a whole city—arches, pillars, colonnades,
not to mention vehicles and animals—had all
one fine day gone under?
I mean, I said to myself, the world was small then.
Surely a great city must have been missed?
I miss our old city—
white pepper, white pudding, you and I meeting under
fanlights and low skies to go home in it—Maybe
what really happened is
this: the old fable-makers searched hard for a word
to convey that what is gone is gone forever and
never found it. And so, in the best traditions of
where we come from
they gave their sorrow a name and drowned it.
This poem appeared in the March 20 & 27, 2006 issue of the magazine.