The Laughter Of The Sphinx

By Michael Palmer

The laughter of the Sphinx
caused my eyes to bleed

The blood from my eyes
flowed onto that ancient map

of sand
Ridiculous as I am

often have I been drawn
to such lands

rippling oceans of silence
and the distant, enigmatic glow

of burning shops and burning scrolls
overseen by river birds and mitered beasts

sad-eyed scholars and mournful scribes
omniscient ibises

and in the dust-clogged air
the laughter of the Sphinx

endlessly riddling, endlessly echoing,
loosing the blood’s engulfing tide

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