Neolithic Limestone Mask... 9,000 Years old... Judean Desert Hills
(Elie Posner Photograph, Israel Museum Jerusalem)
It is said by the more frank
craftsmen of a certain passion,
Death masks are self-creations.
Transcontinental phone calls, midnight pleading,
drives to and from Las Vegas... diamond-shaped
sugar crystal tears of lovers drunk on boutique bottles,
cheapest tequila... samplers for the manic.
You're swimming a murky green pool--
moonless night-- at an abandoned limestone quarry.
Or night falls from Wyoming iron clouds,
comes down as horseshoes...
and you lean back in a greasy plastic booth
in Little America... wait for scrambled eggs...
and you feel safe from yourself... for a while.