July 14th, 2014



I wore no diadem except my hair
no armour save my beauty. In my hand
my husband's sword, no sceptre. In this land
for forty years I ruled. Then gave my heir

The Indus, the Euphrates and the Nile
to the third cataract. Forged elephants
from iron and from ivory. Great ants
brought gold in tribute. Not a crocodile

could eat a fish, nor kestrel take a mouse,
without my knowledge. Built the water gates
of Babylon. Stored corn, and oil, and dates
in the great cellars underneath my house

to feed my poor. I died and went to dust
Queen's glory gone. Now symbol of mere lust.


We dance our little deaths. We press our lips
to any flesh comes near. Our hair, our sweat,
trailing like jewelled wire. Words we forget.
Our language is the grinding of our hips

against another's thighs. A smile, a glance,
a wink, a tear, a lick, our common tongue.
We'll change our partners before very long
perhaps we have no lover save the dance

it's gone past two, the moon the stars are high
light dazzles and I blink. She disappears
and I don't care, and dance. Perhaps it's years
perhaps it's moments. Darling, you and I,

dance lonely nights on this and other floors.
You'll never be my true love, nor I yours.