To these Babylonians Oh father, and I am a child of Abraham Daughter of salt and desert Daughter of the sun blazed beige dream mountains Who roll together like sleeping dinosaurs In the archives of my memory.
To these Babylonians And I have withheld from them my true name For their tongues are not fit to pronounce it Written in black stardust across my ankle Branded like the wandering sheep In the blue hills drowning in yellow gnats and cloud.
My father taught me how to survive Babylonia By the seaside the shore was covered in Transparent jellyfish and dark ocean weeds Abraham inhaling foamy salt waves Preaching black oil, blood and fire
Preaching this, Babylonia When foreign lands resemble home When homes revert to foreign land. When earth and sky and water do not remember you When you do not remember them Singing still in the salty undertow Treble clefs caked in the cracks of my bones Barefoot fire altar, sticky sunbeam fractures Progeny of Abraham Singing sacrifice Stolen seconds folding themselves into eternity.
To these Babylonians And I am a child of Isaac Violin strings shouting with the river Jacob whispered all rivers and all rivers Flow to Rome And all salt water tastes of home Find me in the poison current of the obsidian ocean Jellyfish seaweed and petroleum-slurred sands My father Abraham sang many songs.
By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land? Psalm 137: 1-4