Archipelago, sleeping goddess whose body
we trample as tourists take selfies, bored lovers
seek mystery, stray dogs piss on temple stones.
Inside the sanctuary walls, torba floors endure
their bone-white ground broken as the silence
now deities are curios, gift shop souvenirs.
Asphodel and Sea-squill bloom in the corners of ruins
strewn like footnotes to remind us these shrines
are still alive. At dawn on the Solstice, an entry fee
is our only offering. Careless crowds block the portal
so the sun’s first beams can’t touch the holiest stone.
A child making a wild posy is chased by a man in uniform.
*torba is the Maltese word for hard plaster-like material made by the repeated pounding and wetting of several layers of Golbigerina limestone dust; it was usually spread over a rubble foundation for making temple and hut floors).