I have no image of the vault
or shelves, or tables with lamps
scholars use to consult books.

I am seeing the library
from a great distance, pleased
that the building stands again,

imagining donations of contents,
the desire to establish pride
in the ancient Tamil culture

while its language hides
outside, speaking to soldiers,
shopkeepers, priests

in charge of newly-fashioned
stupas, replete with reclining
buddhas, in Sinhalese.