SONGS OF FUTURE EGYPT by Simon Drax
I wish this were a mirage
woven for our cameras.
But I saw it. I was there.
The old woman blew in from the desert
like a broken-winged bird,
she planted her feet in the Valley of Kings
and managed the levitation of the pyramids,
coaxed them by the power of her voice
to rotate slowly in the noonday sun.
She appeared nightly on the news
to give vent to her demands.
Her eyes smoldered sightlessly
in the wizened folds of her sockets
as she bent toward the camera
and spat words in a soft spray of sand.
At the bottom of our screens the translation:
Egypt has risen.
Behind her stand legions
fierce with the emblem of
the Sphinx on their crisp
new uniforms of brown and gold and white,
faces scraped and shining with saliva
drawn from their once slack lips. They wait
for the word
to strike their camp of diesel and dust,
to throw open the tombs and crack wide the planet.
Their necrotic majesty’s face fills the screen:
This is the war you always dreaded.
Now days of war and waste
are all we have,
black needles from the sky
and venomous shrieks of victory
from the withered lips of a
4,000 year old madwoman.
Not mad, she hisses from her
crooked hook of a throne. Furious.
She is everywhere, now.
She no longer needs
screens, speakers, translations.
She watches from above,
her empire reclaimed,
a planet conquered
beneath her heel
and she whispers
All will be well
in the coming
fall of my cloak,
be well, be well,
Boston, 1988 + Bethel 2009 + Now February 11, 2011
© Simon Drax
Graphics: Soldier and Pyramid—Getty. Woman—Uncredited via tumblr