X Crossbeams in a Skyscraper
If you see time build the tower,
You will always see it in layers.
The population of the tower
Is one, no matter how many
Are there, or not.
Skyscrapers cut down
All lesser ones around them,
But they push the sky ever higher
As we humans crane our necks.
I do not know whether to feel
Big or small, beholding or inside
A religious skyscraper.
The windows are its pores;
The facades are invisible at its distance;
We flow through its arteries,
Pumping ourselves along.
All true skyscrapers
Are temples to themselves;
We are acolytes like gargoyles
Who hang religious art in lobbies
To entrance ourselves, then go stoic
To study, silent as monks, in its impoverished,
Impersonal and tiny rooms
High enough to kill us if it wanted,
But always too far from the top.
Are skyscrapers that harken
To past or future more magnificent?
Are clusters still one,
Are twins just one?
Why is it height that matters,
Swaying in its own wind?
I remember skyscrapers
In terms of myself—
I only see some, and remember less,
As plans doubted, then planted,
Grown tangible against gravity.
Many remain out of focus,
Intricate facades unseen
As interiors of strangers.
Some are lost, but I notice
I will not notice my own
Death, nor remember;
Jumpers do not count the stories
That whoosh by them,
But the starting place, and floor.
True skyscrapers have the decency
To cover up metal with skin,
To see out without being transparent,
To have an immortal rock as shelter from some place
For us to crawl inside at ends,
If you see time make the tower smaller
As a relative or absolute,
You will still always see it in opulence,
Just as we are the tallest we have stood, forever—
But still remember our construction
If we saw it while it happened.