They were building a subway
station right next to our block.
Most of the time, you could not see
the workers. They worked deep down below,
beyond the reach of light -
like so many termites carving
ceaseless secrets into the hidden parts
of a wooden house.
At noon, they emerged from tunnels,
blinked into the sudden sun.
After a quick meal, they lay
in the shade of void decks
and swiftly folded themselves into sleep.
They became so still and quiet
you might have thought them dead.
Then a small breeze came, and one of them
stirred slightly, though he did not wake.
He would not have known it,
if you had come close enough to watch him breathe -
the way his chest slightly rose
then, almost like a miracle,
and fell again.
By Gilbert KohQLRS Vol. 3 No. 2 Jan 2004