Esse Quam Videri


Completely in character, the marching orders came from above

and Prince Solomon of Mecklenburg County pulled out the dogwood petals and slew himself a king’s head, like father like son.

If violence begets violence, then Bathsheba must be expecting twins, hair as red as the sands of Egypt, children without a home.

What of husbands and oaths?  They might be broken, they might be fairly forgotten if the color of cotton panties fades in the wash or the cedars of Lebanon float up like prayers in the ashes of a House set ablaze.

Forty years wandering in the desert and now, each king more abhorrent than the last, every year just another ring in the trees proving no one ever gets away before the dry season brings them low.

Yahweh has spoken.

So Queen Sheba requests the king’s favor, he a symbol of state and nobility in his father’s crown, a truer fit on a head unbowed by grief or guilt, untouched by life or experience, his empty cup a cauldron of wisdom.

She comes for his words, he comes for her body, majestic and terrifying; the Prophet Nathan warned curves like hers could dethrone a king, but why fire a gun only once?

Even pagan Zeus had a sheath of lightning.

Solomon would raze his temple if Sheba would raise her dress and offer her praises to the God of the Jews, but standing in the whispering shadows of the most holy place they see in each other’s eyes a mythology that even they cannot believe.

She will leave

and he will return to his three hundred royal whores.

He could have been born the son of any man; instead he was born to the only Man.

Let the kingdom splay and split, damn the family; even a king for a day must be alone with his thoughts to fret over how the common man finds happiness so easily

and never in heaven.

Beach 2

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