Bet-she’an

Amidst the brokenness, the fallen,

There rests a city.

Beautiful in its emptiness,

Lonely in its stillness.

 

I walk alone through pebbled streets,

the wind whistling in my ears.

For millennia this fallen city was buried,

a mere shadow of its former glory.

 

I wonder how they lived.

The gods they worshipped.

I wonder if Dionysus laughed as he watched his patron city go mad,

drowning in sex and violence and wine.

I wonder how his Maenads lived,

forever dancing to the same drunken tune.

I can still see gladiators wrestling in the arena,

men watching with wine in one hand and a woman in another.

I can imagine the theatre filled with thousands of people,

their eyes glazed, but their laughter loud.

I can hear people bustling in the forum,

their days passing in the same routine.

 

All of this – gone in a second.

The eternity they once held doomed to one of stone and fire.

An earthquake shattered the stones, cracked the paths,

The city of debauchery into a city of ruins.

 

As I touch the stones beneath my feet,

tracing the mosaic,

I can feel the hum of mortality in the air,

as fresh as it was nine thousand years ago.

 

March 23, 2017

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