The kings were interred within the city walls.
This necropolis – lying between the sea
and the newly finished dual carriageway,
The Avenue of the Kings – is a field
full of flowers this early April morning:
curry plants, sea lavender, hibiscus.
Carved deep into the limestone – a simple niche
or a house with courtyard and doric columns –
these were courtiers’ tombs. They were looted
aeons ago. Some were quarried for dwellings,
others used by squatters, outcasts. Mimosa
bougainvillea, oleander abound.
A gecko stills as a hoopoe rises up
erratically from a tomb – with its
flamboyant head feathers and its soft, sad call:
Avenue of the Kingsbougainvilleageckohoopoemimosaoleander