Babylonian Bazaar

The striped vegetable stalls
of the mountain street market
aren’t full of home grown vegetables
but stones men find in cave pockets
to polish and suitably sell where people
don’t bother to brush their hair
or properly corral proud nipples
before wandering the town square.
Most Saturdays I come here to pause
over tables dotted with wire-wraps
of rose quartz, bloodstone, turquoise,
the solid, nervine promises of lapis
lazuli—muse of ancient blue glaze—
but my bare throat is no Ishtar’s Gate.


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