Victims of Paradise

Beatrice explains to Dante the order of the cosmos (Divine Comedy, Paradiso II); Sandro Botticelli

Our language of pilgrimage
urges us in a moment

to tear down structures,
to stomp on ancient coins.

Dusting off our boots, we
feel validated by covering

bodies in dense morning fog.
We must offer a final goodbye

to the mound of birds being
reborn outside a schoolyard.

Catching its breath, it just
bubbles like tea. We don’t see

paradise opening its doors.
Yes, silence is green, is revered,

even though time is a trap
like a snake in the grass.