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MODERNITY IN THE DESERT by Soad Al-Kuwari

We talk of many things we don’t understand.

Modernity in the desert! The latest

joke in a world full of jokes.

But this is the desert,

where dust hovers in the air like butterflies

in a graveyard.

Where sand blankets everythingacacia

and palms, the tents

of Bedouins, even camels,

the ships of dunes.

So little can grow in the desert.

Our palaces scream cutting-edge.

Our A/Cs hiss like snakes.

Cell phones! Cyber cafes!

But remember, the desert is a fox

dressed like a woman. 1

1 “Modernity in the Desert.” In Gathering the Tide an Anthology of Contemporary Arabian Gulf Poetry, edited by Patty Paine and Jeff Lodge, by Samia Touati and Soad Al-Kuwari, 167. Reading, U.K.: Garnet Pub., 2011

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