Into the Desert
by Mary Crow

  1. Hours in putrid tunnels failed
  2. to yield a single mummy,
  3. only shards, scraps of wrappings.
    1. My study of temples: nothing.
    2. Long days only my breathing
    3. disturbed the whisper of nothingness.
      1. Here where the crocodile was worshipped,
      2. I came upon mud-huts over and over,
      3. a few pigeon-lofts, earthen pots,
        1. and always the river—
        2. Here my mind dissolved into an elaborate
        3. study of emptiness.
          1. Yet some days mere distance
          2. became an object in itself, and I desired
          3. to go on and on, another mile before sunset,
            1. another view over another dune,
            2. following a furrow of recent
            3. wheel-tracks into distance until
              1. I had to turn back at last toward
              2. the river, its tiny lapping, back
              3. to those ruined villages, remembering
                1. a baby owl—how its beak clicked at me,
                2. how its eyes glittered, how badly
                3. it wanted to live.
Packingtown Review – Vol.7, Winter 2015/2016

Mary Crow spent January 2011 in Egypt at a residency in El Gouna. Her most recent book of poems is Addicted to the Horizon. Her most recent book of translations is Roberto Juarroz's Vertical Poetry:Last Poems, a finalist for a Poetry Translation Award from PEN USA.

  1. Edwin Torres
    Or Worship And Flightpoetry