The Desertification of the Mind 

The Desertification of the Mind 

There are caterpillars
in my eyes
Or so I’ve been told — though
What they’re doing, I don’t know

Caterpillars liquefy
And then turn into butterflies
And fly
Is that not right, Pazuzu?

Is it true you
Once were king of droughts
But doubts about your fitness for this
Led you to quit?

And now you just sit on your bench
In Roberto Clemente Plaza
and witness the unfolding?
Is this true?

Or maybe what is true, Pazuzu shouts,
Is just the doubt.

As the bridge’s beacon beckons
Bacon’s famous exhortation: torture nature
Is with ardent faithfulness observed
Across the earth
And brains turn into deserts, too
Pazuzu avers


Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at and on twitter @elliot_sperber