The Greeks get all the credit for our sky

but, as on Earth, a little digging

yields older bones.

The stars meant something in Sumer too

in first cities

rising from rivers.


Half goat, half fish—what the fuck?

Caprice? No. It’s Enki,

Lord of Nudimmud—of making–

and of mischief when

cooking Men from clay

was all the rage amongst Gods.


The goat-fish was King in a

land of mud where

Ziggurats at least kept

your feet dry,

where wet earth was

pierced by first pen.


There was so much water Enki thought

it would be fun to have more,

a flood to float his thoughts on

Man’s evanescence,

watching his buildings

sink back into mud.


“Man is Man is Man, when not

Woman,” laughed Enki, watching the

bitter black lake spill into the

Middle Sea, his own headwaters

leaching rich soil, turning his sea

forever red.


Babel is gone, Sumer no more,

Eridu smitten with weapons.

The sky has moved, taken the old Goat

down a peg or two—but

he’s still Enki and he will

surprise you yet.

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