Durs Grünbein
FOUR POEMS

From Tether 4, pages 29–32

THE FALL FROM THE IVORY TOWER

Always the shadows fall ahead of the towers,
Yesterday was the day after tomorrow.  The leaning tower
Of Pisa tips into the future, it has for centuries.
It never falls, decrepit, unlike some family home.

Skyscrapers, towers of regret, of conceit,
Launching pads of money, but no ivory tower,
In which the individual sits, to ponder upon towers.
Arabic numerals.  In the Orient, the calculations began,
Right?  Then they moved westward along trade routes,
Devoured the landscapes.

       What were you thinking,
Emerged from the subway tunnel, head cocked back,
Gazing into the steel blue sky over America?
The word Today opens up like a lion’s jaw.


Tether 4, 2018
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