You mistress with the alabaster tongue
whose lungs breathe the smoke of gold and copper
I see your skirts that are woven from past grandeur
hail the desert
like a lost lover would
your eyes are cast from temples
shiny stones, incense veiled
mists hide your belly as you dance
bare-footed in the warm sands of yesterday
many were your thrones
and your gates still ring
with the echo of your voice
Babylon the Grand! Babylon the Undying!
Look, this is Babylon
where all fates are cast in starshine
you birthed the zodiac
and you birthed legend
Babylon the Undying, Babylon
whose breath is gardens’ green and roses
fierce lions were as pets to you and it is not like
you never had claws of your own
Dance, mistress, dance
wave your skirts in the desert’s sands…
and flash your tongue,
and twinkle a sleep-drowned eye
to today’s passers-by
who came
--still come--
to see you dance
your feet to dust