Four Poems from The Snake Will Shed Its Skin And I Will Die: A Gilgamesh Cycle

By Robert Arthur Reeves


I met my friend

I met my friend
we beat the shit out of each other
we held each other and quaked laughing
when I looked in his eyes
there was no division
when I looked in his eyes
there was no reason
not to go with him anywhere
it would mean my death
I knew that
that was no reason

Gilgamesh, to Ishtar

Lady, nothing you can do for me
seems any good.
Everyone you ever put your tongue on
wound up underground
in one way or other.
Your cunt is a hall of mirrors,
people get farther and farther away from the exit.
How long do you think it would be
before your eyes stopped pulling and started pushing
before your eyes became the gaps between the stars
returning nothing?
Thank you
but you’re a thief
nothing better.
You’ve stolen everything
every man in the world has.
I’d just as soon hang onto mine
a little while.

Enkidu, to Ishtar

I would heave this slaughtered fragment
in your face
if it weren’t so far away

so you sent a thing of stars
to breathe on us and burn us
see what good it did you

we did what the hunter of stars
never got close enough to do
we killed it

you can take it back
in bits


Enkidu is dead

I didn’t know it
but everything was the same
and now nothing is.

He was taken
and I will travel.
He was taken
and I will die.

Our four hands
held things for spearing
and chopping.
My two hands held his two.

He falls apart
in front of me.
He’s there
and somewhere else,

somewhere they eat
what we get rid of,
where they can stop you leaving
with a yell.

I will watch him
and talk to him.
He won’t watch me
or talk to me.

He was taken
and I will travel.
He was taken
and I will die.

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