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Image by Karen Khafagy


the madrigal, volume v


by michael pittard

I suppose it’s possible I destroyed it,
shook the earth with some superpower,
or took a hammer & chiseled cement
until the lighthouse’s walls crumbled,
carved my own name over Sostratus’
without any care, plucking at the plaster
for my amusement. Sometime during
the 14th century I might have sat upon
a throne & ordered its demolition,
fireworks announcing the appointed
time. What is Alexandria to me?
Ruins, lost libraries, & drowned bodies,
an incomplete imagining, nothing in
what I am losing. Knock the Pharos down,
recover the remnants in the bay ages later.
I’ll rebuild it eventually, overlooking
nothing real, the people milling about,
drinking tea there right this minute, will
look up in no astonishment at emptiness,
my invisible beacon guiding no ships.

Michael Pittard is an English lecturer at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He currently serves as the Book Recommendations editor for The Bookends Review. His poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from such publications as Appalachian Review, Poetry South, & The Citron Review.

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