The desert, I think, doesn’t hide its secrets
but clothe them, like a priestess exalted,
shrugging on her byssus robe,
and dabbing flecks of mica on kohl-lined eyes,
as if to say here I am,
world, look upon
what terrors and wonders I’ve wrought
in the hearts of men.
The asps and ished leaves were her
promise to live forever, underscored
by root tangles, like eye sockets or cracked bones:
the perfect human story
written in empty domes beneath the dirt.
Yes, it’s a faulty metaphor,
but only you and I will know
since we’re the last remaining believers
in the lie of undiscovered country,
the sole scribes left
to marvel at her dust-hieratic
and perceive the poetry
of shadows and wind.