just keep grooving

the thing is, angel child, 
you have crumbled and fallen to ruins,
but you are not broken, not yet.
it takes more to break you than you know.

the thing is, angel child,
there are only two things you can do 
when a city falls to ruin, 
or an era,
     or a life,
          or a world.

see, angel child, 
you can let it lie the way it is
with crumbled walls and shattered rooftiles, 
with cracked pavestones on the roads and 
with pockets of what once was
     trapped between the debris.

you can let it stay as it is,
like Parthenon standing on shaking columns:
     a place for ghosts to inhabit
          and memories to fossilize,
     a monument eternal to a glory long gone. 

but listen, angel child, 
you can also bury the ruins
the way you bury a friend, a martyr, a memory:
not so that you might erase and forget
but so that you may remember and cherish and let go
       so that you may watch flowers go over it. 

you can bury the ruins, angel child, 
and rise tall upon the rechristened land
     like Rome standing with its feet on the catacombs
     like New York painted fresh with new buildings on old streets. 

and sometimes, angel child, 
if you put your ear to the pavement and listen,
if you hold your breath and stay real quiet,
you can hear the whispers of bygones.

listen close, angel child,
so that you can hear the heartbeats of ghosts
below the thrum of the city.

—  and the echo of your footsteps below the creak of your bones ( j.p. )