While Everyone Else Is Still Sleeping

Enheduanna braids her
long black braids. Behind
her eyes, temples grow
out of cosmic mist,
lift their necks to the sky.
Sometimes she longs
to be small enough
to play in her mother’s
quilts and weavings.
Sometimes she feels over-
whelmed by life’s mystery
and fear, its terror and
dread, it’s beauty and
desire. Think of her as a
torch singer, belting
out what scorches and
what can calm, her songs
carved into hard clay that
will dance, a wild jazz
scat. Her skin smells of
saffron and sun, the music
of the Euphrates in the
back ground, she scatters
her stories in the rushes.
Images flutter in and
out of the palace walls until,
like an ink tattoo, she
pierces the clay like skin
and tells the wild story