A man is tying his horse to his rowboat in the Nile
So that neither will his boat float away
Nor his horse walk off. Two women on adjoining rooftops
Are arguing and shaking their fists
And the man defecating by the roadside
Acknowledges the sensibilities of others
By facing away from the road. The traffic in central Cairo
Is so dense it is not possible to cross the streets
Except by pedestrian bridges. Water is lifted
From irrigation ditches into the fields themselves
By rotating wheels of buckets exactly as drawn
In the tombs. Intermittently
The mummy room of the Cairo Museum is closed
As a ghoulish affront
To national dignity, then reopened
When the workers in the increasingly less attended
Cairo Museum are laid off.
Feral dogs copulate in the shadows of stone statues
With eyes with no pupils and local guides
Put their cigarettes out in the laps of goddesses
And the sand blows over the sand
Until the sand grains are as small as they can get
Before they turn into whatever comes next.
Ozymandius? He has
Long since fled east where an outbreak of democracy
In the current theocracy is rumored among the reporters
In the restaurants and bars of Europe
To be close at hand. The great rhythms
Occur rhythmically and you are in the oldest
Civilization on earth in its current incarnation
As a country by that name in North Africa.
Everything is a struggle.
Everything is a miracle.
The nights are very cool and pleasant
And the sky over Egypt very black and the moon, in fact,
A crescent.

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