The Oldest Story

The Oldest Story | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Statue of Gilgamesh at the University of Sydney, Camperdown. Courtesy of Samantha/flickr.

My girl still needs to memorize the prologue
of Gilgamesh by Friday & so sticks it
above the bathroom sink & to the window
inside the old Subaru, repeating weary worn
out with labor
though we’re not riding
some Mesopotamian mud road, but I-35
thronged in fog. Eventually the gods would
wonder if G couldn’t really use a friend &
I know a man & when Enkidu finally shows up
their headbutt crumbles soft Uruk’s great walls
but the brawl’s not what we’ve come to expect
from standing your ground & whose ground
was it again? I hear touch the threshold it is ancient
& I hear America singing, a wind turning trees
& ripping the pages terrifying like a great
wild bull for
/christ’s sake, look /out where yr going.