Someone says "Notre Dame is on fire and it feels
like the end of the world.” We lose more oxygen
every day. Polar bears swim miles and miles before
giving up, sinking, drowning. What does it take
to lose the mind and body to water? I eat chips
and look outside. A man powerwashes the sidewalk,
the mist rising like smoke. What does it take
to lose our senses to the elements? Santiago blows
death winds, forests denude, Bolivia stripped of plumage,
the naked ostrich beneath less pink than we imagine,
less the losing of a tutu. Man decimates rainforests
to grow soy for livestock feed. How ludicrous to end
having fed an animal we don't need to survive. The
end of the world feels like Notre Dame on fire.
The better correlative strikes the gaudiness of man.
In Prague many years ago, I marveled at the buttresses
of Old Town, the Romanesque and Baroque, Rococo
and Moorish structures. The beauty of preservation,
I learn, came at the expense of my people, deported
in 1939, the Jewish Quarters all but destroyed. I marveled
in the face of time. The destruction of buildings, a series
of rocks standing atop other rocks hurt more than 92,000
men, women, and children. I do not doubt in sorrow.
Look: A building stands on fire at the end of the world.