the ruined temple.
the villagers, like barnacles or bees,
had nested in the ancient temple grounds;
along the crumbling portico we found
old motorcycle parts; we couldn’t see
the structures through the houses’ walls and eaves,
their mazelike jumble. close domestic sounds
and food aromas pressed in all around;
we felt obtrusive, slightly ill at ease.
abandoned in the city’s midst they hide,
as solemn as a pharaoh’s long-sealed tomb -
these ruins swallowed not by sand, but homes.
the doors are loosely latched; we duck inside
to find a cool and cavelike altar-room,
all sound receding; silence, statues, stone.