Tolu Oloruntoba: A Poem

Tolu Oloruntoba

The Vesuvius horse --
a gelding, obviously --
harnessed still and petrified
these 1940 years,
is saddled for the ride
the masters never made
to the mountains.
All that grooming and shoeing,
to be bound still, even in death.

Archaeologists will find us
encased, one in tent city
tarp, the other half
in Styrofoam, chained
to phone cable and extension cord,
winning the penultimate round,
but losing the last together,
obviously, as old stars
and new satellites bear witness

to our time-lapse:
glowing, whisking, gone already.

-- from The Junta of Happenstance, by permission 
Tolu Oloruntoba notes that this poem is based on the story of the archaeological find of the Vesuvius horse in excavations at the site of the Pompeii eruption.

Time collapses. Look once, look again. Where are we when the future comes looking? What are we bound to?  

Dazzling language here and all through this book. And after the dazzlement, such depths! Thanks to Tolu and Palimpsest Press for permission to reproduce this poem.