THE HANGED MAN
Eight hundred years after Yeshua died screaming
Above the chipped stones of Golgotha,
They built a stone fort on another dry hill.
Now only broken walls remain,
And cisterns that even in the driest summer
Still contain cool, green water
That tastes of granite schist and history.
Now not even children play at the base of the hill.
Under the thirsty sky that begs for the rolling cumulus
The stones that have fallen away
Exposing their backbones to the very air
Are even more mysterious, now,
Then when they rose forbiddingly against the invaders
And arrows and rocks rained down the hill like blood.
And, opened to the sky, the aching remnants
Yaw like disembowelled enemy bodies
Hung upside-down for view
On hot and corrosive summer afternoons.
The silence is broken only by the insistent hiss
Of swarming mosquitoes after the frenzy of blood and sex.
(c) Nisaba Merrieweather 2010
1) Fortress of Alamut: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alamut
2) Yes, I know only female mosquitoes ever drink blood. Males are herbivores, living mainly on nectar and sap, depending on their species.
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