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Saturday, July 27, 2013

July Anomalies A – Z: Xanthicus


“King Antiochus to the senate of the Jews and to the other Jews, greetings.  If you are well, it is as we desire. We also are in good health. Menelaus has informed us that you wish to return home and look after your own affairs. Therefore those who go home by the thirtieth of Xanthicus will have our pledge of friendship and full permission for the Jews to enjoy their own food and laws, just as formerly, and none of them shall be molested in any way for what may have been done in ignorance.  And I have also sent Menelaus to encourage you. Farewell. The one hundred forty-eighth year, Xanthicus fifteenth.”  -2 Maccabees 11: 27 - 33

Xanthicus is the cruelest month, breeding
barley from the ground
and letters of peace from a mad king,
stirring hope against memory,
but then comes drowning
and burning, massacre
against those taking refuge;
the defeated nomads offer cattle and coffee.

If there were no hope of a resurrection
it would seem superfluous and foolish
to pray for so many dead.


This is part of July Anomalies A-Z, a creative writing exercise and not intended to be an altogether accurate picture of the creature described above.


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