Napo 26

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.