upon arrival the three poets
began dismantling immediately
the first poet stood in the center
jotting down meticulous inventory
every nail every stud

he remained on a single point
pivoting to gleam all he could
depending on the slanted light from
the window to illuminate
those corners seen unseen

the second poet leveraged
his crowbar beneath
the baseboard prying upward
seeking to feel beneath
the surface to reach

the roots and lift
to bring darkness
to the light, every component
intact but never again whole
the third poet late

and hung over entered dragging
a sledgehammer as she
tested its heft
the first poet admonished “don’t
you start damaging the subject”

the third poet had heard
all this before, had been
in fervent debate on this
very point, marking
the first poet as too timid and uncurious

for the real work
of demolition necessary
before one can build anew
but the first poet remained
concerned with pure preservation

perception rendered with tenderness
the third poet replied
“how else can we discover
what lies between?” swinging her tool
into the soft sheetrock

which crumbled easily
beneath her brute investigations
the head became trapped in the wall
and the poet was forced to leverage
her whole body to break the tool

loose again back into the light
of the room, it went on
burst of destruction of the thing
followed by moments of becoming
imbedded in the thing

moments of intense anxiety
moments of violent release
exposing after some time the foundation
and even pedestrians passing on the street
could see among the ripped-up framework

the ruins of the beginning