Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Of Civilization and Disenchantment
by Michael R. Burch

Suddenly uncomfortable
to stay at my grandfather's house ―
actually his third new wife's,
in her daughter's bedroom
― one interminable summer
with nothing to do,
all the meals served cold,
even beans and peas...

Lacking the words to describe
ah! , those pearl-luminous estuaries ―
strange omens, incoherent nights.

Seeing the flares of the river barges
illuminating Memphis,
city of bluffs and dying splendors.

Drifting toward Alexandria,
Pharos, Rhakotis, Djoser's fertile delta,
lands at the beginning of a new time and "civilization."

Leaving behind sixty miles of unbroken cemetery,
Alexander's corpse floating seaward,
bobbing, milkwhite, in a jar of honey.

Memphis shall be waste and desolate,
without an inhabitant.
Or so the people dreamed, in chains.

Published by The Centrifugal Eye and The Centrifugal Eye Fifth Anniversary Anthology. Keywords/Tags: Memphis, river, barges, bluffs, Alexandria, Pharos, Rhakotis, Djoser, Alexander, waste, desolate
Chris Saitta May 2019
Her eyes are the lighthouse of the Pharos,
Alexandrian, bronze-mirrored fire flung round
The gloaming coastal sorrow like sand-glittered spears.

Her praying mantis limbs of light,
Sever-poised for needlepoint strike
At the jeweled glint of wings in dim, rare-seen limits,
Now one with her rasping sea of scarab beetle husks.

— The End —