an exhibit spread out upon a table,
not etherized, no need for these long-
dead scholars, some of whom stare
down at me from somber portraits,
or even scowl,
as if to ask what are you doing here among us?
Luke Wadding,
Matthew ab Aquasparta,
Fidelis a Fanna—
scholastic magistri
searching nature and illumination,
cause and causality,
being and existence,
I have glimpsed them in these days
of living among them but not
of them, my own scholastic paradox.
I have crept into Plato’s cave
and spied the shadows and
discerned the grand scope
of all that’s hidden in these
brittle tomes, open here on the table,
perhaps even breathing,
through dust and distance,
their undying spirits.