Meeting Places: Part VI


sway across the marble floors of malls,
back and forth in black fabric, like sunspots

across July eyelids, inside the warrens
of designer labels and western imports.

Pale manikins, drenched in mock sunlight
expose their molded breasts and legs,

not illegal, but these clothes rarely see
the light of day, or the glances of strangers.

But still the girls come, pouring from SUVs
into the fluorescent hallways, free

in the company of brothers or cousins
but they never come alone.

There is an art to eye movement,
nothing lingers, but everything strays,

ours to curves, hidden but not eliminated,
theirs to bear arms, biceps through half sleeves,

both to unspoken desires. My glance meets
long lashes, and a swath of cerulean sky.

Arab eyes are not windows, but lighthouses,
hope from a distance, the long, slow promise

of warmth in a new country, but disaster
to those who cannot see the rocks, black

mirrors of volcanic glass, trembling
and radiating with the call to prayer.

Previous | Next