We Were Sages Once

Your generation doesn’t have the propensity
to figure out light

-John Ashbery

The vicissitudes of our life
here in the coal-colored hills
bear down on us with a cynical sneer.
We’ve been weary
with wishy-washy superficiality.

It shows in our walk.
All this talk about preening…
I’ve stopped gleaning doubts
from the gout-riddled texts
we once both abhorred and adored.

The floor of our historical sense
has finally caved. I managed to save
a handful of artifacts from certain doom;
primarily grooming implements
from a more primitive age.

We were sages once, remember?
The embers of memory don’t burn
quite as bright as they used to.
The light they give is that
of the gauze covered sun on a winter’s day.

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