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(Neues Museum, Berlin)

Who are you --

gazing with lidded indifference

from your forest-green dome (the start

of a smile lightly twitching

red lips), towards Helios a half

mile away?

Mere plaster

on limestone -- plastered with eons’

projections: dug from mud at

Amarna, looted from


an emblem

of greed, and wonder:

mother of millions of memes.

Your one full eye seems a skeptic’s,

with reason. Bundled in lies to a Kaiser,

locked in place by a Fuhrer,

captive and

hostage, shipped

off to salt mines, all your homes

leveled, you’ve wandered

our refugee roads.

Across three


from emerald

reeds and jade water

with a whisper of incense

your numinous calm replies:

who are we?

[For the iconic bust’s journeys, see (e.g.) ]

Version first published in The Raven's Perch, December 12, 2022

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