I have the feeling nothing online

is meant for me, but is uttered

for an audience of idea-eating gods.


O Babylonian bazaar! This one sings

a hymn of Inanna, this one prays

at the foot of the huluppu tree. 


Living history, phosphorous, backlit.

What are their prostrations to me?

They seem relentless in their worship.


They speak knowingly, as though

they were being sacrificed alive

and had kept the practice a long time.


The further back the scroll reaches

to the start of things, the more

they forget how not to be hieroglyphs.


What if they think I was like them?

How violent, how horrible a thought!

I must tell them what I was right away.


Someone hands me a bowl

of smoking incense, and tells me

breathe deeply, breathe deeply.

R. Charboneau

Artwork: A 16th-century painting illustrating a battle scene in the Bhagavad Gita, during the battle of Kurukshetra.


2 thoughts on “Shanti Shanti Shanti

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