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Pill bottles in assorted sizes lie
scattered across the smooth Formica plain
of the bathroom countertop. They testify
like pediments and pillars that remain,

broken, askew, and fallen, on the site
of some great ancient temple, to a past
both glorious and vivid, and invite
the meditations of elegiast.

The architect of this Aesclepion
built carefully that it might stand for years.
Its private altar, visited each dawn
and dusk, suppressed his pain and muffled fears.

But understanding some theology,
we realize that this temple’s final fall
was foreordained before the moment he
laid cornerstone in place to bear it all.