Digging in the Arena District near nouveau tables
of Strada dell’Orto and Tapatio, spangled ice
of Nationwide Arena patrolled by tireless Zambonis,
workmen unearth eight thin grins, a bone-trove,
ash-cache of redundancy. A paupers’ grave
itself interred 150 years ago, relics of beings
(though this demands a later tense) christened
Human, not intact. O sleepers, victims of renewal,
this dig has brought a new crime wave to light,
not as the dour, soup-kitchen preachers promised.
No angel trumpets bleating brimstone and delight,
but towers higher than city steeples, condos
for homesteaders blessed with tax abatement
to loom above your living heirs, homeless
in cardboard, scrap metal, distant arena organ,
guitars of those intent on pleasure amplified
to thunder. Now this is entertainment. Dark,
bony puritans crumbling like concrete not up
to code, you’re urban blight eternal. You’re
out of time, ancestors. Go back to rest.
David Citino is the author of twelve volumes of poetry, most recently The News and Other Poems (University of Notre Dame Press) and The Book of Appassionata: Collected Poems and The Invention of Secrecy (both from Ohio State University Press). Paperwork (Kent State University Press), a collection of essays, was published in 2004. He is contributing editor of The Eye of Poetry: Six Views of the Art and Craft of Poetry (Oxford), and teaches at Ohio State, where he is Poet Laureate of the University.