Who am I to say that none followed you
out of Memphis, down the corpse-strewn highway
to the marsh, with its malarial swarm
and steaming fetid water? Who am I
to tell you not to drink, or when you do
try to comfort you in the last stages
of the disease, when—now delusional—
you look for help or answers in the sky?
but you are not alone. Look around you
and know that many others share your pain
and your disgust with ancient astronauts,
who, like Phaeton, once drove too near the sun
and asked you to rebuild their chariot
from the ashes—a strange, deserted Sphinx.