Sheba

do not look for me in the desert
I am here, among cats and starlings,
staring at a man who is eight years
older than myself, I am quite fond
of citrus drinks and ripened fruit, the
kind I could pluck from the shinning air
in my ancient kingdom, and I have
quite forgotten Solomon, for all his
erudite barbaric reasoning, I am now
in a small costal town watching the
blackbirds dart in erratic patterns all
over the seasonal sky, and I am watching
a man [who is eight years older than myself]
skirt carefully the brown desert sand that I drag
in wherever I walk, and I

am aware of the clocks overhead the tables,
and in the spring I will sit outside I think
and listen to the sun, which remembers me
and is the only One who calls me by
the name of Solomon's giving, I do not
even remember the windows of my old
clay palaces. and now I understand they
are searching for me in the desert. I would

if it could make any difference,
scream out in the banner of my
ancient language that HERE I AM AMONG
THE OLDER

MEN and the blackbirds and the costal
sky, and I am suddenly quite young- even
the frothy wine is forbidden me-

I, who claimed fruit from the air. I do not
mourn Solomon, who received his just
place. I am watching a man who is eight
years older than myself, who with complete
equanimity sees me as a small wounded
cat, clutching at the last vestigial evening in
a cold place I have never seen. I would tell

him I knew the desert when it was firstly dawn,
and then perhaps show him that

my eyes could shift, and I would
speak in the language of Solomon. I am right here.
I am right here

and quite young.