We seem transfixed these days
by laser pulses bouncing by the billions
off buried Mayan cities and Egyptian
sarcophagi, images revealing footprints
of ancient glaciers and lava flows.   

Yet an engineering report of visible
cracks and leaks in this doomed seaside condo
did not penetrate our 21st century hubris.
Said the mayor regarding the collapse:
This is a First World country.  That doesn’t happen here.  

Now, humbled humans advance
inch by inch through the smoke and debris,
stopping every few minutes
to listen — for cries in the rubble,
for a single pulse, a beating heart.