To J.T., or, Ode to an Obelisk

Oh, the stone of your face,

In it is writ some place,

Wrapt in a slim cartouche

Trapt by a carver’s touch,

Some royal name not slain—

Spared by time and called Pain.

And I yearn, how I yearn

With fingertips to learn

The titles and powers

Of a king whose hours

Are for you, years of woe—

Only now can I know.

I feel here, near the lip,

An ancient blow, no slip,

No accident, oh no;

And by Ra’s eye it shows:

Two bruises, not from Time,

But left by Pharaoh’s crime.

No stone, I now can feel,

Is suited to conceal

Pain’s kingdom for so long;

Yet, by this, you are strong.

Unleash your trapt torment

To then know the storm went.

And know, my stoic love,

A crack is but a shove

In Beauty’s direction—

A door to connection—

So bear its sudden weight

And pass through Hist’ry’s gate.

By such we will shatter,

And with our force batter

Your tomb—his walls—apart.

And this, my love, is Art:

Two souls gasping in haste

To silence hate they faced.