An Ashtray in Pompeii

You are tentative with your words
As if I am made of butterscotch and bite.
Like you are building
Straw houses in Haiti,
And you aren’t quite sure
If time repeats itself to me.

So I will try not to smile because I know
that my history with the past is recurrent.
I try everyday to sneak and creep,
hoping it won’t spot my silver linings,
But the monster never seems to sleep.

But one day we will try and forget.
Sit and bask in the light.
And play Bach in our bus shelters
And build those houses,
In this heritage site I paid the price for.
And we will see the irony
When we can simply be
As we place an ash tray in Pompeii.
Because we’d buried the past that day.

Those words were my ashtray in Pompeii.