The bomber wrote its message above Baghdad

and from its shadow something dark slipped

to explode in a cluster of clay tablets,

figurines, seals, pottery, tools.


The target, a secret arms factory,

was intact, but all around were bursting

friezes and faces, a ram from a thicket,

a gold harp, a dagger, a chariot


and coins, coins ...  Carefully guided

mythology from the third millennium before

Christ, lovingly crafted smart

technology from Ur, the war-games of Gil-


gamesh played by all those generals

in cuneiform in the history bunker, like Dudu

of Lagash, or Shalmaneser, or Belshazzar

safe behind the wall of Babylon HQ.