Jerusalem, February 1998

This city, this country has no snow.
A carnival behind me, little black haired
boys selling postcards, hookah smoking
coffee men and hagglers. Hot ozone
hanging reek of falafel and pita,
a hundred new age natural food store smells.
I shiver under the weight of history.

My friends do not notice, nor do the
camel ride Arabs notice, the
empty quarter, narrow street,
not more than an alley.
Gunmetal doors line ancient walls with
no windows, sealed shut this winter like last.

Someone forgot his donkey,
tied, saddled and bagged.
I wonder if this ass is the
great granddaughter of that ass,
and does anyone still ride her,
carrying kings through the Lion's Gate?