was blistering

fish, the bottom of the sea

lemons at the traffic light

 

thin like Mama

green peppers and zucchini on the counter

once Egypt and Sudan

a triangle every friday

in Arabic, numbers

the old Egyptian flag

his lips were painted pink

a sip of the Nile

and Cleopatra Cigarettes

she was the right thief

‘sorry, sorry, I’m sorry’

by the one

money is always new

people we know

pickled carrot after it

 

tea parties on the roof

the old way

the glut of men

long gone

close to her feet

Uncle groaned

black granite, alabaster eyes

Auntie and Uncle and all the others

someone long absent

he wound up his wristwatch

grown in the Nile Delta

seventeen hours by bus

early always

throw books out the window at students

plants by the window

refuge in the open space

only when the sun rose

air, the sea

on his chair

forgiving again

had four eggs

sixty-two people killed

Uncle asked how

 

except for Granny’s bed

minute twenty-three over and over again

rocks flying

without tomatoes and okre

tomatoes are politics

melt through the day

mangos, watermelon, white cheese

 

Granny’s lips

a father’s disapproving thumb

in near silence

also victims

memory overwritten

like paint

the call to prayer

a smirk

two chairs and a desk

hours and through the night

that night alone

cutting off Ferouz mid-sentence

without knowing what you’re waiting for

the sky a mercurial orange

few and cautious