Our Alternate Lives as Sculptors
If I were the bobcat driver
and you the forklift operator
somewhere underground in winter
we'd have met in a constant temperature of salt.
Evenings we might have carved our names
and then an elephant,
or your favorite saint of miners
and explosives, St. Barbara.
We could've set her to work at embroidery
as she waited in her tower –
Or maybe St. Hyacinth,
that long fingered man,
he knew both of the cold and the dangers of drowning.
If we'd had water, it would've been brine
and being more than bones,
we could've been cured.
At night when we went to sleep,
we'd have wrapped ourselves under wool
against the pressure of the mountain.
And when the whistle would blow
at the end of the work week
we'd have stalled our machines at the bottom of the stairs,
in the snows drifts of St. Barbara.
As her features slowly decayed,
and tusks of our elephant receded,
we'd have carved out her likeness once again:
her delicate nose,
her upturned eyes
and her chalice empty, but poised
ready to be filled.