Zabbaleen

& like any god
-forsaken thing, I want nothing more
than my breaths
– Ocean Vuong

Signals traverse spines & veins.

Eyes dilate.

Tracing ancient patterns,
the sinuous ribbons of memory
renewed through constant sacrifice

                rise:

another performance

of terror & necessity.

Some animals survive & others die,

while through it all

the light plays games across the spectacle,
watched over by gods
who know nothing of mercy.
 
~~~

Here though, there are no gods;
here the wind touches glass & concrete trees
fells greasy cardboard leaves,
plastic carrier bags,
cigarette ends,
empty cans &
people.

~~~

The Gazelle has broken limbs,
has lost it's noble frame
& the grace of such delicate movements

between jaws, claws, teeth &
brutal muscle;
adrenaline, instinct & chance.
 
The Gazelle searches for a place to hide

somewhere to die in peace before
scavengers arrive to tear away meat
from the warmth of life.

Such an ugly fate for a gentle beast:

watch the blood draining from a dead-eyed dream.

~~~

The Zabbaleen
have been forced to become human garbage.

There are many others like them.

It need not be this way.

Here there are no gods but
mercy could exist. This

makes me ashamed to be human.

What about you?