The town wore dust as some wear skies,
Its buildings barely stood on props.
The crumbling had been centuries long.
A rootless people drifted through.
Around the town the maquis spread
Obscuring tablets pressed with tales,
And ancient bricks which burnt and broke:
The merest trace of palace walls.
Its stories scattered through the world,
With sails for wings and widening eyes.
They drifted off beyond the earth,
Became a breath, became a fear.
The truth lies lost beneath the scrub:
A pile of bones reduced to chalk.
(The title is from Seneca: Phaedra, 173ff)