The Last Law of Sculpture

by Elizabeth Langemak

Always, there are limits to what can be
carved free of time.  Egyptian, Greek, Roman:
of each the same is logged to our halls.  Box-
flat chests of soldiers and slaves, fists pulled tight

to sides, granite sheets worried low through thighs
of the spent.  In the Louvre stone frogs gather
feet to eyes and glyphs cut shallow valleys
in stone.  Only the Sphinx with his arched neck

is blasted snout to mouth.  Dicks from men,
fingers branching off babies, nipple tips
gone as if casually swiped: the art form knows
only one bitter pattern.  Time knocks off

what sticks out.  If you dared, you could reach out,
wave your hand through the absence.  But you don’t.

Elizabeth Langemak’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Subtropics, 32 Poems, The Bellingham Review, Gulf Coast,Ninth Letter, The Cincinnati Review, and Best New Poets: Fifty Poems by Emerging Writers.  She currently lives in Bethany, West Virginia.