One Way Back to Babylon

One Way Back to Babylon

“Can I go home yet?” 
Such a small voice for a big statue

On a grey stool in the corner
a British Museum guard yawns
and turns away from the conversation.
Maybe this happens every day.

“Where’s home?” I whisper.
“Where the sea eats the sky,
where the shells have lost their voices.”

A charioteer taps my shoulder.
“Me too. Have you come with horses
wild enough to drive us back to Hellas?
No one needs us here.”

Across Room 115 they queue politely:
a jade dragon, 
a gold l lama,
a bronze king,
a silk princess,
a whale bone chessman,
an ivory dildo,
a granite Buddha 
whose smile has long since flown,
the inevitable mummy
an alabaster bishop,
an ebony judge,

like I have the keys to a Magic Bus
to repatriate every exhibit to its ruin.

The British Museum guard excavates
a nostril and checks his watch.
There’s still an age to pass before lunch.


Photo by Rohan Rangaswami on Unsplash