german pils in the afternoon
12.26.09 / 6:45 pm

he prints words on the backs of his hands,
memories he seeks, in time,
to comprehend.
words of dead men and of living,
that remind him of change
and of staying-the-same,
of homeric epic heroism and time at home.

he likes semi-permanent things:
a brisk beard in the winter, gone in the summer;
the veins on his hands after chopping wood
and quickening pulse during the labor,
things that fade in time, return to nothing.

he thinks all is meant to disappear,
palaces to be rediscovered by future generations,
buried under centuries of earth,
kings and servants, gods and mortals.

the words he finds eventually fade
to be replaced by others,
analogs to his human skin,
each straddling the divide between history and myth.