Table, 2 After Milosz An empty table, an empty tavern, that image haunts her departure. Everything else is cheap silverware, finger-marked wine stems. Like an overburdened ghost, she moves among broken plates in the direction of the port. She doubts that stacked tablecloths will suffice. Some dances are already piles of ash on cobblestone. And after she leaves, distance is resurrected in the body of a god, broken on this altar, because even beauty cannot hide the loss of song, or this rough table’s heavy wood. Excavation That June the marble quarry slept. The pine trees made no sound except their sighs, their nymph breath diluted by a reef. Archilochus burned fragments of words in the evening bonfire, and the goat sacrificed himself. Animals do not mind such burdens. It was months after that the monks learned what the goddess already knew: the island is raw, garlanded with wild woods. Without marble, without a slab to rest on, we couldn't ram belly to belly, thigh to thigh. We hoped the marble would open again, create a fissure for two bodies. And so, we brought up the nets, tossed the bad fish to the gulls, tried to summon a god. It was hard to get his attention. We dragged the boats to the quarry. The ancient poets had explained: we were lost. The goats made room for us to sleep. The sea stayed quiet, embraced its marble.