I had fun with this assignment. The prompt was to pick an object and imagine archeologists discovering it way in the future. What would they think of us? Well, I imagined some future aliens finding my purse.
In the Future, Aliens Stumble Upon My Purse
What kind of magic being would own
Such a thing? A sack, slung over the shoulder,
Equipped with every tool for living,
Creating, shaping and reshaping this world –
A warrior of his time. Look here, unzip
and let’s examine these ancient contents
to learn a little about ancient man:
First, notice this – a little stick with red
Perhaps to paint his face the shade
That would inspire the most fear.
I imagine these lines went under his eyes.
I imagine he made this with the blood
Of his enemies. How else would it blush
So bright? Here, now look at this:
A strange contraption indeed. Brush off
The rust and see this crimping tool,
Made of metal, imagine these teeth
Coming at you, plucking out the eye.
And then there are these, a plastic container
That opens like the shell of a clam
When unhinged. Inside, here, look,
A mirror to gaze into his own eyes,
And some powder, now caked,
much have been a kind of magic.
Dig deeper, but be careful not to let the sack
Unravel, it’s very old. What’s this?
An old brick of plastic, metal, smudged with grease.
This thing got a lot of use.
And these, little jingling metal strung around a ring
Must have some symbolic value of his victories
In battle, each one representing a head
He’d hunted down. Hmm… scraps of paper,
Yes, many of them, must have listed secrets,
Codes, or something important. This one says
20% off tampons. We now believe the tampon
was a kind of ancient grenade. And this?
Some kind of rock wrapped in a plastic that reads
“SPECIAL K BAR?” He must have used this for prying
Open the mouths of the dying. These ancient savages,
No wonder they went extinct. All blood and war.
No beauty. No tenderness. No love.
Can you imagine the owner of this relic,
Slinging it over his broad and naked shoulder,
The color of the sunset blooming from his chest,
Arriving in town, inspiring awe and fear.