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“The vastness of the desert frightened her. Everything looked too far away, even the cloudless sky. There was nowhere you could hide in such emptiness.” — James Carlos Blake


To talk of Her is to talk of Eden,
a new religion barely two thousand

years old. The girl chased footprints while the sun
made tracks in the caravan path glisten

leading to one more heat mirage and what
do they make of that in Djenne-Djenno

voices on the wind where no one sleeps but
the girl herself and what did the pharaoh

know of the wide divine that you yourself
did not save that there is no one great truth

that all paths lead to a dried up water
hole. When I count bleached bones I count myself.

You pray to an old man, I pray to youth,
to a girl, I pray to the First Lover.