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When I was a kid, there was a desert in my head.

In this desert there were:

Giant stones from fallen temples

                Statues of winged women with their heads broken off

                                                                                     half buried 

                                                                                    their eyes were blank carved eyes of statues  



                                                                                                                       (even in the sun)

                                                           temples  fallen in at the top, but opened to caverns below

                                                                 with carved walls and floors

                                                                     cool and dark

                                                                            with shadows that moved without sound

                                                                                                          without source

                                                                    they prayed to empty alters and murals of gods

                                                                      cracked with age 

                                                   (why do I hear water running?)

                                      There are many temples in the desert

                                    (Some not as ruined)

                         (Some with Things living inside)

                                                   and I think they might be connected if you go down deep enough,

                                                                                  But I never try.

There was a story I almost knew

(Stop me if you've heard it before)

                         a king and his people travel the desert

                          they meet a wall.

                           One by one, the king's men climb it.

                          At the top they cry, "How beautiful!" 

                                                                 then fall over the side and--



I'm grown now and know how it happened.

                     About the spirits on the other side,

                                                  desert sirens calling men to their deaths,  eating their corpses,

                                   And the King's priest who went to the wall

                                   And banished them with prayer.

                But I didn't know it then.

I'd stopped the story


            And the desert in my head



                       What happened?


                      Why did they fall?



My brain rotted from the inside out

Full of sun and sand

                          Then I met a statue in the desert

                                             Broken Ozymandias who hated the world he thought he ruled

                          I met  bull-bodied men

                                            lion-bodied women

                                                  animal-headed both

                                                           a little gold smith

                                                                  a boy with a limp



The desert grew.


It's still there.



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