What to Bear in Mind When the Drills Wake You

The construction workers who gut the building
across the street take the gentlest care to preserve
its bricked walls. We clean

our insides out like that. Clear away detritus
from each war, finally cut down the burnt trees
marked with white X's, crawl

inside the mountain, level it. The original structure
livable when you did not know happiness but after
he lays the savage sun at your feet,

beware. Linger in the self-improvement section,
eye pruners then move to chainsaws. Until it is
not enough, the wrecking ball,

the unmaking, sudden vacancy. You have stood
in the Roman Forum, Chaco Canyon, Panama
Viejo, the Berlin Wall. Naked

towers, exposed homes, broken stone. Some
body's foundation.


About the Poet Angela Maria Williams: In addition to being an independent bookseller, I hold an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA from the University of New Mexico. My work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fickle Muses, Contemporary American Poets, Conceptions Southwest and Tar River Poetry.