X

Beauvais

by: Lightsey Darst

Our cathedral climbed higher than any in France before it fell.

Waking after nightmare you hear
light feet worrying your stairs. The masons whisper

something about the vault,
a buttress too filigreed, does not support. Workmen crushed.

The rustling feed scud from front door to stair,
then climb up. Someone, no one there.

What the sun set on, did not rise. Priests cried.
We feared we would not understand each other, Babel

broken out in our town. You go back to sleep and never
hear those steps again. Ghost at the edge of knowing,

what undid you: that last outward turn–
shattered walls of spinel. We were told

we were unwise, but we’d built to high
by then we had to go on. Bury them there.

Now, an aerial photo shows the height we never touched.