Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MERSA, by KEITH CASTELLAINE DOUGLAS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

MERSA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: This blue halfcircle of sea
Last Line: Imagining I am one of the dead.
Subject(s): Sahara Desert

This blue half circle of sea
moving transparently
on the sand as pale as salt
was Cleopatra's hotel:

here is a guesthouse built
and broken utterly since
an amorous modern prince
lived in this scoured shell.

Now from the ruined hive of a town
the cherry-skinned soldiers stroll down
to undress to idle on the white beach.
Up there, the immensely long road goes by

to Tripoli: the wind and dust reach
the secrets of the whole
poor town whose masks would still
deceive a passer by,

faces with sightless doors
for eyes, with cracks like tears
oozing at corners. A dead tank alone
leans where the gossips stood.

I see my feet like stones
underwater. The logical little fish
converge and nip the flesh
imagining I am one of the dead.

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