August Repeat: SONGS OF FUTURE EGYPT (poem)

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,

beware.

__________________________________________

Boston, 1988 + Bethel 2009 + Now February 11, 2011

© Simon Drax

Graphics: Soldier and Pyramid—Getty. Woman—Uncredited via tumblr

Ω

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