Today's poem is by Zara Raab

Tangiers, 1968

Because in the Souk Dakhli, a woman
sheathed in blue burkha flashed her eyes at me,
because I was a girl, too, sparkling in my own way,
because fish glinted like silver loaves on the long tables
or, suspended on wires, spun their silver shingles,
because a grinning, toothless deaf-mute told
my fortune with his fingers, stroking
my cupped palm in his soft brown hands,
because I joined the other ex-patriots sipping mint tea
and smoking, because I lay down on the earthen floor
of the deaf-mute's hut beside the spice mounds,
because the papers strewn about were charcoaled
with arabesques, because the crumpled scraps
looked like magnolia blossoms opening in the sunlight,
I did not notice the path to the latrines strewn with glass
or the uniformed men gathering on the beaches,
their boats flying a strange flag. I did not
take their measure, or see the darkness
coming in behind the light, but slept.

Copyright © 2014 Zara Raab All rights reserved
from Fracas & Asylum
David Robert Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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