Moses was able to do what he did
because he was Egyptian and still is.
They know such tricks, water
is just another word for them, sounds
like mmmm, looks like an owl,
the Reed Sea parts before his logic
and the soon-to-be Jews slosh across.
Year after year they try the same trick
to no avail. Moses was Egypt was magic
and still is. There can only be one
Egypt at a time, and ours got lost.
Oil wells yes, and lakes of naphtha,
and blue lessive that whites our sheets.
Because we sleep, and sleep compels
sacramental dreams and new hi-tech,
tongues of plenty, arrows that come home.
Moses shouts with his trumpet, sings
with his shoulders, it’s clear the painter
here spent time with him, a long time,
a Merovingian time, shared water with
a ghostly white man near Trois-Frères—
now else could he know and show all this?