The scribe’s wife, the chief singer, had him killed,
an agent of the police, who had refused
to take a bribe. And so the singer used
a man she knew, who in a tavern filled
a small cloth tube with sand, then smashed his head
when he came in to drink their millet beer.
She poisoned her assassin without fear,
a sort of justice, but lay in her bed
worried she might be damned. Next day she spent
the gold she’d saved on bribes and pay on scrolls
painted with gods and prayers and spells for souls
the best that she could buy. And then she went
to sleep. She’d have when it was time to die.
the best eternity her gold could buy