Amy Gerstler

Earth, Temple, Gods
January 17, 2021 Gerstler Amy

Earth, Temple, Gods

A woman’s feet, in lace-up sandals made of stone.
Her centuries old long stone toes. How can
toes be so eloquent, evoking love and something
akin to pity? Snaking down her back, between
her shoulder blades, a long-looped braid,
entwined with ribbons and flowers, also carved
marble. The braid’s woven stone patience.
A mineral smell. Sounds of dripping. Glimpses
of waiting fates, of young, vulnerable mankind,
staring from time-whitened statues’ eyes.
The centuries slippery as spilled milk during
coronavirus confinement. We’re all monks now
one monk joked in a Catholic newsletter I glanced
at online. Maybe time melts when one’s confined
to quarters, staring at photos of beautiful ruins,
statues sans noses, some with only half a face, each
looking as though, despite losses and griefs, she
would speak. And me so restless and unnerved today,
dying to hear what these long-gone women could say,
looking for any place to rest my frightened eyes.

Amy Gerstler has published thirteen books of poems, a children’s book and several collaborative artists books with visual artists. Index of Women, her most recent book of poems, was published by Penguin Random House in 2021. She is currently working on a musical with composer/actor Steve Gunderson.