Walking with me, you'd once pointed to the fragility
and ingenuity of a spider's web. Subtle bridges, you said,
On bridges some men hang. A warning that has stayed
While I read history traced in blood and tears of men.
I was caught in the end with a nest of books. They burned
anyway, and now I bend to build an emperor's endless wall.
Like a thread of longing the border runs in loops and bends,
and along it we root the gravestones of nameless men. A king's
This is, history raised from ash and bone -- a symbol
Of its vast futility, or of eternity. Which it is I do not know,
But since leaving home some things have come clear.
No one literally breaks from loss, not even here.
And some ties won't give. I sometimes dream of you,
and walking, in gardens where love and knowledge hang.