They are so often the first to go
We can never be sure
How it happens
A few shatter in a tipping
Or when being shipped
To Xanadu or San Simeon
Some come undone
Simply for having been
Too delicately fashioned
And some just stay
Like Venus de Milo’s, who
Having found another
Way to be incomplete,
Takes her place
Among the beautiful ruins.
Most just slide off
At some appointed hour, sensing
The whole thing’s going
To come apart in the end, anyway.
They gather on a beach,
One, say, in Normandy,
And reminisce of lithic roses,
Corrosive salt sea air,
Of fresh marbled rolls
And, Ah, stone Camembert!