The Camel

I received the strangest thing in the mail
today. It's a photograph of me riding a camel
in the desert. And yet I have never ridden a
camel, or even been in a desert. I am wearing
a jellaba and a keffiyeh and I'm waving a rifle.
I have examined the photo with a magnifying
glass and it is definitely me. I can't stop
looking at the photo. I have never even dreamed
of riding a camel in the desert. The ferocity
in my eyes suggests I am fighting some kind of
holy war, that I have no fear of death. I must
hide this photo from my wife and children. They
must not know who I really am. I must not know.

-James Tate
from " Return to the city
of white donkeys"

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