Friday, December 5, 2008

browsing for beach reads in Alexandria

by the delving light of an ancient wonder
i amble through waves of papyri.
the forged words and stolen histories
squish between my toes
along the fabled shore.

a snug spot manifests between two proud stones,
so I slide into the sandy shelf
for a short rest and a fast read:
2000 years and 7000 miles away
and still, all I want is escapism.

but there are no best sellers in the Hellenistic world
no Pattersons or Browns
only the dense propaganda of Herodotus and Plutarch,
the dull Greek lies of kings and victories
that retire my eyes.

and in that bored torpor
i envisage the apocalypse of proof-
all the wisdom of all the ages
enflamed from folly or foe;
the light makes ash of legend.

soon my copperstone skin strikes midnight
with the embers of Alexander
still torrid from conquest.
frightened, I beckon the forgiving tide
to wash me of the burden of knowledge.

No comments: