Another Homeric Moment

With elliptical pulse in the sky,
seven AM announces
the pearly instep of a morning

flavored with blood in urine.
Not the most pleasant hue. The cat
responsible may be dying

of cancer: a message to nail
on a mud-brick wall in the desert
outside Jerusalem where minds

meet and linger over thousands
of years of war. Our leaders
won’t lead us into the desert

but into plush conference rooms
where carafes of spring water
stand around like flamingos

and microphones cringe in the paws
of reporters working in six
or eight languages at once.

What hues does the ear pick up?
Is the desert at dawn wine-drab
like the cat’s litter? Kneeling

and scooping away the stain
solves nothing. The armies poised
at the edge of every desert

in the world solve nothing but the itch
to trigger more ovoid pulses
than the sky can accommodate.

The seven AM fire horns finish
their winsome noise. The red splotch
isn’t politics. The cat looks

indifferent to the clues it leaves,
but the cancer, if it’s there,
expects to keep its promise.