Cynthia Anderson

PYRAMID FEVER

I hear the words in a dream:
Pyramids exist so we don’t begin
to think we know everything.

I go to Sunday meditation
at the desert retreat center.
A man clad in white claims

the pyramids weren’t tombs,
but generators that powered
Egyptian civilization.

The room where we sit
has a pyramid-shaped ceiling.
Everyone is serene.

Outside, it’s hot enough
to fry the dead. In the gift shop,
sarcophagi crowd the shelves.

This burning sensation
must be a touch of pyramid
fever—highly viral,

like the Mojave’s extremes.

THE VIOLET HOUR

You find yourself in the street—which isn’t really a street,
but a dirt road with sandy stretches that swirl into oblivion
when the wind blows. You’re obsessed by a sense of belonging
to whatever crosses your path. Your eyes, open, fill with faint stars.
Twilight deepens, catches in your throat like the hoot of a barn owl,
white ghost in silent flight above your head. When the owl goes,
the crickets hold you, wrap you in their shawl of sound,
chanting Lie down, lie down and be comforted.