Pharaoh’s Chariots

by J.D. Isip

Bones of the riders slipped down
into the sand and sediment so long ago.
The depths have covered them,
a wheel rolls back and forth in the current.
After the frogs, the fires, the firstborn,
they still rode out, so sure and so proud.

Imagine galloping past leviathan,
your knuckles trailing a wonder, a wall
of water, the shadows of life
the size of pyramids, swimming past,
thinking this javelin in my hand,
this mass in my head, is an even match.

Imagine the bones of Great Pharaoh
with his stone heart, and the empty sockets
where silver bodies flit in one eye, out
the other. An octopus may occupy his skull,
and after all this time, Pharaoh dreams
of the power and reach of his many arms.

J.D. Isip’s full-length poetry collections include Kissing the Wound (Moon Tide Press, 2023) and Pocketing Feathers (Sadie Girl Press, 2015). His third collection, tentatively titled I Wasn’t Finished, will be released by Moon Tide Press at the end of 2024 or early 2025. He is a contributing editor for The Blue Mountain Review. J.D. teaches at Collin College in Plano, Texas, where he lives with his dogs, Ivy and Bucky.

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