Shot 32

by David L. Paxton


Surviving on windows, scarabs
Line the low wall molding. They lift
Litter and cat refuse. Cool slabs
Of slate stack dark corners left

By the last Cairo residents.
None of it is real. Barricades
Of distant speculation chants
These rubber-wrapped inky blue blinds.

There is sand grain graduating
Into dunes wove by Southern winds,
Obliterated faces dug
Out and reestablished with loads

Of piled identities. Earths gun
To register all new life, turn
Over each reincarnation.
Every three years, the fields burn

The documents, maps and blueprints
Like on a bookkeeper’s schedule.
Scarabs, like sand, condense, their spits
Coat space and living time. As drool

Solidifies, taking perfume on,
The mustiness, the capacious
Hiss and sweat of every grin,
Another red, ostentatious

Map ignites, setting the country
Ablaze roaring while stale air walks,
Heels clicking, tempo kept by dry
Scarabs exploding like fireworks.

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