Memorial to the Greats -Translation by Katherine Silver + Robin Myers

The Greats commissioned it
as expression and proof of their glory.
It was perfection. A tall monolith
of perfect crystal. Its structures—
hard algebra and transparent stone—
formed invisible iridescent
cathedrals, concentric.


They called it diamond:
an entire diamond obelisk.
It would be a pure fount of reflections,
a deep mirror for the sun.
It would tell time. It would mark solstices.
It would guide nomads. Above all,
it would speak of the Greats for the rest of time.


But the gods, who only contemplate,
deemed otherwise,
giving other names
to the meager materiality of the glinting obelisk:
Ice. Foam.
And they watched it crack, collapse
within a few geological eras.

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