Instead of writing new things lately, I seem to have been quarrying bits from old writing the way the Romans quarried stone from edifices that had been erected by others, usurping temples, making over gods. Pieces of marble from the high Temple of Jupiter ending in the deepest foundations of the Monastery that followed it further up the St. Bernard Pass, supporting the stone sinks and stores of potatoes and onions. Or carted off to the valley below. Common in fact, for one culture to build on top of older structures, holy or otherwise, for words to be borrowed, stolen, misused—or polished, set off in a golden band, given new life and breath.
As hermit crabs use the old discarded shells of sea snails, I inhabit what I find on the long beach that I have walked over the years, fitting back into those familiar imperfectly remembered shapes, crannies, and cracks, the comfortable curling vowels and hollowed, hallowed syllables.
image: Abandoned Marble Quarry