seems less real today, in the postmodern
aftermath of history, for it has stood, straddling the harbor
only in some Einsteinian time, out there ahead of us
before an earthquake brought its rumor down.
It was never where they said it was, or its shell,
the bronze of its massive arms and legs, and what then
of the genitals? Those Greeks like them small, well formed
but still, where has the great metal phallus gone?
We sail into the harbor on the backs of dolphins
as the dead do in other places, and view only columns
mounted with stag and doe, the modern equivalent of care
with history, delicate rather than imposing.
If this beast of bronze never did exist, The Seventh
Wonder of the World would be a myth, and there’s
more than something real in that, for the writers, travelers
of the past, would have created our best hope.
But today I can see it, boy-eagled over the murky depths,
and watch as the Japanese, Sweds, Germans, lingering
bankrupt Americans, all with their perfect daughters
and sons, snap photos of the empty air.