their voices etched in vinyl
or rolls of magnetic tape
turned to white noise
and snow, confetti
jettisoned into space

the salamander losing its tail
in pursuit
of a talking stone

as conversations follow a groove in ceramic
and are thrown off by the breaking of a vessel
there, on the potter's wheel

a golem orbital, undone; lashed
by a corona mass injection
of plasma, stone ceramic shards

the plumes of a phoenix, or the azure
mane of Quetzalcoatl,
feathered snake and ambassador
to ancient astronauts, in the tree of life

the walls of ghetto-earth
hold us back, they hold us in
a garden of tenements and alleys
squalor lined with a glimmering
hope's civility

our rocket to the moon
a flaming sword they cannot contain
in a scabbard of stone

—W.C. Roberts