|Jul/Aug 2004 • Poetry • Special Feature|
"You need a soul eraser—
all that old stuff, the dreck of your life
burying you, sticking needles in you,
you're like a voodoo doll
version of yourself," she said.
Feral donkeys by the road meander
without purpose, remnants of poverty.
This hitchhiking chap says "Thanks,
Kalba hospital roundabout.
I was building a road in the desert
until the wife went into labor."
Through the hot desert winds,
the imam chants the call to prayer—
white-robed men of the town, all
bowing together, saying the same things,
so sweetly aligned in their prostrations.
Their faith seems to restore mine,
walking alone at dusk through date palms,
a concerto of mynah birds in a hundred voices;
scents of oregano and rosemary honey
waft over me, overwhelm me,
return my world to me.