Naomi Foyle

Ancient History

Assyrian warriors planned invasions twice: once sober
and once drunk. Swimming the Tigris hugging goats’ bladders
they prayed for giant angels to guide them after death
through iron gates now standing in a museum corridor.

Desert wolves, they ruled their age, with savage pride creating
Babylon and cuneiform tableaux ― the virtues of their king
crosshatched across his portrait, as if an army of small birds
had marched a hymn of praise upon his stage.

The Assyrians were also early body sculpture artisans,
from cypress sap and camel tongues engineered machines
to build their calves into the shape of conch shells,
the trumpets of their Gods …or so I whisper in your ear…

as in this hall of infidels, I pause, trying not to hold you —
who once harnessed every natural force to come down on my fold.


So much is lost forever
unless we blu tack postcards
to the wall.

Naomi Foyle © 2008