Alice O. Howell   


EGYPT: Sunset at Saqqara



                The only place I walk through wafers of light


                              flakes of laughter and lemon clear air


                    even the sand is luminous between the


yellow columns of delicate temple


                    and when you and I niche ourselves


                              either side the carved god


          we become god and goddess


freeing him to become mortal


                    to follow the now absent guide



the step pyramid of Zoser


          is heavy only in the text of paradox



Saqqara stops time


                    cascades sacred light


          from its gleaming temples


and as we leave:


           a pack of snarling yellow dogs with slender tails


                    hoop black against a flaming desert sky



                    we watch a splendor:


serenely smiling Ra, setting behind a parabolic dune


          feeding them some crumbs of human odyssey