I’ve been thinking about monuments -and the anecdote (and mis-attributed quote, apparently) of Michelangelo revealing his David –later telling Pope Julius II that he simply cut away “everything that was not David.” I imagined those chunks of rock left on the ground as their own discarded community -and how little bits of them, over the centuries, might have unwillingly turned up in the materials of lesser statues.


Attributable to another sculptor

This line of Rocks not David lay in wait


Recrumbled not David

tumbling time’s Gloryless pages


Recaptured not David

the slavery of something old, something new


Reconstituted not David

orphans blending into now’s degree of hardness.


Repurposed not David

Watching old friends fall away under new ordinance

(they look small from above)


Revealed not David

fearfully bound to the chiseled dark of an enemy


Resigned not David

all Stones come to “rest under the shade of the trees.”


Removed not David

Dust to Dust never had it so good.



-for robert edward lee