Well, if you insist, then come,
drink in the pleasure of my father’s mansion.
Become intoxicated with his Renoired walls.
Visit the secret prison of his friends:
his Melville, his Poe, and sacred bards of old.
What do you expect – the grandeur that would shake
even those who touch the garments of kings?
Think you that the power of his gods
will shine from the tomb of his coffers?
Will Nirvana arise from the ashes of this man?
No. The poisoned air of shame
still smogs the songless rooms,
and the carpet once crushed by heavy boots
is dead, flattened by time.
So come, taste the stillness of my father’s cave,
but, after, run hungrily to the meadow,
before the shadow of his emptiness enfolds you.
– Tom Mach lives in Lawrence.