Revisiting the Bardo Museum in Tunisia 2019 – by Arturo Desimone

Second floor/mezzanine

In the Carthage exhibits
of the Bardo museum that should lack exits,
years after zealots bombed,
I stood before the statue of Seth, the unbroken,
or another tiger-headed Goddess: immovable
it silenced the halls,
un-scorched by any C4 bomb entrails.
The fact that Roman invaders carved its marble
meant nothing.
Just as the fact that Daesh
jihadist attacks meant
next to nothing: it was, and is, far older
than all of them.
Far older than the fact that.

And the meaning does not die with the priestess
or in scholars. It cannot
fade into the dust-grey of brains.

And that being’s power, terrible,
more fear-inducing than what any
poem of mine or by Billy Blake
could ever convey: late afternoon light,
alabaster shade cast aback
by that marble, it’s wordless sentence.
That which I did not find visiting
the ruins of Delphi on a rainy day,
I found here.

Arturo DeSimoneArturo Desimone was born and raised in Aruba. At 22 he moved to the Netherlands. He later relocated to Argentina. His articles, poetry and fiction pieces previously appeared in Drunken Boat International Poetry Review, The Missing Slate, South Florida Poetry Journal, BIM, Small Axe Salon and The New Orleans Review. He has performed at international poetry festivals in Nicaragua, in Cuba and in Argentina. Mare Nostrum / Costa Nostra  (Hesterglock Press, 2019) a collection combining poetry and visual art, appeared in the UK, and was reviewed in The Morning Star newspaper. The bilingual edition La Amada de Túnez/About a Lover from Tunisia, which also combines poetry and drawings, recently appeared in Argentina.