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