So archeologists found the pants?   No bones about it.

~~~~

In his low-hanging crotch pants, her warrior could get her to do anything.  She’d neigh and nuzzle like a heavenly steed, bend and flex in shadow dance along their mud brick courtyard wall. He’d whisper “two branches” and point to a moon drowned in olive oil or to two roots of ginger and she’d know he craved her shapely pale legs.  Kneeling before him, she’d run one hand down his string belt and pull him closer with the other.

~~~~

Suppose there was no battle, and the warrior didn’t saddle his squat, barrel-chested horse.  Then he would gladly trade it in for a kilo of tea. Suppose he dreamed of mountains dissolving into mist, a waterfall spilling out of the clouds.  Mesmerized by the seductive possibilities of nothingness, he didn’t notice the scorpion scaling up his thigh, just past the cross-stitching, mid-knee. The wide crotch didn’t help. His pants were a canvas on which the enemy’s blood would have painted many moments of greatness.   Instead, they pinned him to his death.

~~~~

Three thousand years later, the woman, still faithful, untouched, turned into a song whose lyrics were long forgotten.  The warrior, dusty, carbon-dated to middle age, died in his prime under a moon wrapped in silk thread.  He left nothing foreign behind:  no petrified familial tongues or broken prophetic black pottery shards or wilted flowers to the heart––just the trousers, threadbare, disintegrating––though some would now argue, Marco Polo’s or a Jewish tailor’s signature blossomed on them.

Four Way Books Founding Editor, Pushcard Prize winner and a co-recipient with Jeff Friedman of an NEA grant for translation, Dzvinia Orlowsky has authored six poetry collections. Her newest, BAD HARVEST is forthcoming from Carnegie Mellon University Press in October, 2018. She currently teaches at the Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College and as Creative Writing/English adjunct at Providence College.

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