Monday, April 12, 2010

Lost in the Pantheon

They called it God’s eye,
but really it was just the center of the dome
in the Pantheon. And from it, they hung a wire
and the pendulum started to sway.

He was afraid of blood
so he studied physics
and he proved back in 1851 that the earth rotated,
that it turned her back each night on the fixed sun,
like a jealous lover.
I stood there watching that gold ball
swing back and forth and back and forth, so slowly at times,
like gravity wasn’t something it had to worry about.

I thought to myself how amazing it must have been back then,
back when Science was unstoppable
when religious fervor had died down, for just a moment
and we all stopped arguing over ancient stories
and martyred men. We collectively wiped the blood from our hands
and craned our necks to the sky to watch the stars
wink on and off,
to watch the earth groan and roll in the heavens like
a wooden top in slow motion. We were citizens of the heavens
and we sought answers
without fear but with hope and desire,
what used to be the devil’s tools.

I watched it go back and forth
and wanted to touch it
before you showed up and asked me where I had been.
You thought I had wandered off,
and you said, “Let’s go down to the crypt and find Rousseau”
and we did.

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