Flies, drawn to their only sustenance, cloud around my head.
In this cloudless desert sky - blank, deep-arching cavern of thought -
Unblinking sun stares down but this fire-bird will not fly,
Has no hope of rain or shade to hide or die.
Searing sand burns my toes, grills my heels, wind blows in flies, in eyes.
Lips crack to blisters - they parch. Meant to be moist, they roast
My fever, worsening and wakening a hell of hallucinations.
I am again sweating in the kitchen in McDonalds in Phoenix,
An unblinking boss staring without sympathy
At the boiling water and grilled meat :
When I burnt an arm on the deep fat frier, my skin stuck to metal pan.
These shoes’ rubber soles melt and stick to rocks as I teeter
And lose balance, my tee shirt hot to the skin,
While I hallucinate and start to lose the struggle with
These endless wavescapes poured out with boiling hot sand.
My feverish scalp faces the unblinking Doctor Mengele’s scalpels
Which further probe the agony of helplessness :
Even scarabs have long abandoned this place
Which arabs once knew, but now never visit : the wilderness,
A place of uncertain mirages, illusions
With horizontal slices of land and sky, sand and fly,
All scalpel-dissected by the furious heat of the desert furnace
Watch the children of Hiroshima as it bursts asunder Gomorrah-like
Till only a parchment picture remains of the desolation,
The deep cavern, of hopeless, limitless, heat without any abyss-end.
Stare at the fireball with the last sight of evaporating eyes.
Jump into canal without sonde, blindly boiling bodies in its dead water .
Send me water! It floats drinkingly before Tantalus’s fly-swarmed eyes,
Scanning the dry ocean’s endless waves of dessication,
Around the ruins of some Moorish fortress half-buried in sand,
And the ruins of Hiroshima’s incinerated desolation, where
The only things standing, rising phoenix-like after the fireball ,
are the Golden Arches of Auschwitz.
Tantalus - a mythical figure condemned to be surrounded by water but not able to drink.
Dr. Mengele - an infamous doctor in Auschwitz who experimented on people.
The Moors, - the original people inhabiting Morocco, abandoned many buildings in the Sahara desert.
Hiroshima - the target of the world’s first nuclear attack.
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Written by Sydney Peck 25 July 2012
Entered in Debbie Guzzi ‘s Contest HEAT
Copyright © Sidney Beck