How the east was won
The East was won by being first.
By carving enormous beings into the walls of stone cliffs.
By claiming the sun as her own.
By painting legends over the fibres of gold tapestries.
By tangling war with art.
By making poetry the key to religion
and to armies.
By treating language as a sword.
By taking offense to a dirty look.
By severing ties on a whim.
On bad mustard.
By forsaking love for power.
Turning ambition into castles
and artifacts and the kinds of things
that tourists now Instagram for granted.
By respecting tradition.
By inventing tradition.
By inventing numbers.
So that we can all keep score
and understand how much we’re losing by.
By distilling the sun to fire.
And making it a play thing
to celebrate inevitable victories.
By speaking lies with authority.
At gun point and missile tip.
By setting clocks to untruth.
By bending reality in convenient directions.
and cloning bodies and virtues alike.
And now the sun sets.
The fireworks erupt.
The tapestries stand tall.
Another victory is implied.