Ta Prohm


A stifling heat—the air heavy—
and all around the loud, wet forest 
knotting the gaps in its own sound.

A peace long earned, then broken;
and you, far off in the hospice bed.
Silk cotton, strangler fig 

fastened here on the temple 
as though it grew down from heaven, 
was sent to hold in place 

all this human work. And later, 
through the house of fire, the fallen 
galleries, I climbed in blue smoke

to where the god sat
ringed with incense. And yes, 
I knelt to her. And yes, I prayed 

through unbelief. Perhaps now,
father, only something old
and impossible can save us.


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Published: March 2, 2020