33. minerals, monastery, a

milki white, a mason who
built stuff (as you do) — 
bridges, cannons, colchesters,
cough-drops, islands, comb-overs — 
he built the towers of true tibet,
shadows, owls, and instead,
one day, i guess, on a whim,
decided him to build a sphinx

a sphinx is for, whatever is,
generally about 3 stories, it
has a head shaped like a lion,
and the body of a human i — 
(wait, that’s the other way around) — 
covered in rose and fancy wound,
faced in sugar lace (what?) strings,
filled with dough and coffee treats

this sphinx here that milki built,
was different (in shape, not sense),
was to be, in form, hippo
(where he’s from that’s what, so) — 
to the end, achieving this,
he rounded up a hundred six,
lined them up from tip to tail
(that didn’t work, he tried again) — 
placed them, then, one on another,
a stacked, a hippo fleshy tower
(that didn’t work, now, really, either,
they just squished all-together)

a missionary came, his name was joe,
proposed a solution to his slow
(an apothecary, he confessed — 
missionary was just a misdirect),
which was, to put it blackly,
bleed the hippos prior to stacking,
replace the stuff with wax and cloves,
wrap them then in swaddling clothes 
(the blood, nothing here is wasted,
can be used for coagulation)

in the end, what then remained,
a tower of hippos, in hippo shape,
mummified, i guess, the term,
a sphinx of stuffed hippos or
an aquatic ungulate sarcophagus
(what, i wonder, happened to the guts?)

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