One Poem. One Planet. April 13, 2017
The walls of the cathedral in Lima are made of stone mortared together
with a million egg whites from the sea birds that to this day
nest in perennial multitude on the nearby rocks elbowing out of the Pacific.
The workers used what they had to hand, our tour guide tells us.
Over the mountains, for instance, where there are no sea birds,
the workers cemented their cathedral with the blood of oxen.
It’s easier to crack a few eggs, than to slaughter the ox, no?
A few eggs and the leg bones of believers for bedrock under magnificence.
I raised my eyes to the domed vault. I looked a really long time.
God’s not up there, I thought—but what I say is: what did they do with the yolks?
In the catacombs it’s immediately obvious that cracked skulls
without their lower jaws, stacked one on top of the other
resemble punctured egg shells shucked of their gold.
–Arlitia Jones, April 13, 2017