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