The Desert’s Philosophy Lesson

The Sufis say the desert is evidence

That freedom exists only in lack of choice

And the desert’s infinity of possible paths

Proves the existence of the divine

Those who declare themselves chosen say the desert was a placement test

Whose pillars of fire God has since forsaken

As a quaint anachronism

That no longer entertains

The Palestinians say the desert is an old man’s youth

Glorified in its absence

A forbidden book burning forever on the enemy’s pyre

The like of which never to be read again

The atheists say the desert is a labyrinth

And since few excel at mazes

Serendipity filled the world with it

To keep us forever moving forward

The Assassins of Alamut said the desert was a hell

That only murder could save you from

And the only possible purity lay in its winds

Which peel skin from bones and thoughts from minds

The fanatics claim the desert wastes a paradise

As metastatic sound bites swarm like worms into followers’ ears

And dogmas fall upon their children like pedophilic felons

For God has deformed himself to avoid being sold into slavery

The refugees say the desert is a penal archipelago

And they are imprisoned by its lack of walls

Until the wasteland blow through them to the point that

They become naught save sand wrapped in skin

Yet the desert says I have but one philosophy

And when I come I will lend myself to neither scripture nor cinematography

And the lives that you are living in so comfortably will be crumpled up

To be put into pockets even deeper and older than your fear