Fortunes lie on the ocean floor
the glow of gold grows dim
under the weight of ancient waves
currency becomes spurious.
Mark my words, young lady—
forests will cover these cities one day.
You will live to see it
with your own two eyes.
Mile upon mile of broken pavement
plagued by wildflower, thistle and thorn
a parade of ruin, strewn out reckless—
Verdancy triumphant in every direction.
Then one day, after you’ve gone
the oceans will slowly recede
Inland dwellers will take leave to new islands
and find something hidden
in the brightness of day.
*Title taken from a line in the 36th canto of the William Scott Wilson translation of The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu