In the fifth grade, I first heard that the end of the world could be nigh. I needed to watch for the “signs of the times.” But the whole idea of the world going through such a terrible ordeal, the “tribulation,” horrified me. I dreamed about it. I was arrested. I was led up the wooden steps to the guillotine. To my surprise, nothing happened. For no reason I can explain, nobody beheaded me.

“I’m so disappointed in you,” my mother told me in the dream, her countenance a sour frown. She took it as a spiritual failure on my part that I wouldn’t be promptly executed.

an Egyptologist
with scarabs in her eyes
camel moon