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from the July 2006 issue

Butterflies of Meaning

A poet's horizon
Is filled with butterflies
That's Afaf
And Sakina, sending
Her early morning messages
To my sleepy day,
Yussef the nonchalant
Do worry at last
When doing the same
But Zeinab helped me
To decide.
Clicking is the decision
Then she flew
Like a summer cloud
Doing what she did.
What about Amal
Clicking her cell phone
Even in dreams
Ringing makes her rush
A beautiful ebony running
With her soul in her mouth
Lifting the phone
The cell. Whatever is there?
Listening a dreamy smile
Lightning glows on her lips
This girl loves calling
Knows her choices
But naughty Sakina
Knows what to send me
Knows what gets me to bounce
Like on a trampoline
Like grandchildren
Bouncing on our grandma's bed
"I am in Roxi," she says
What delicious mango juice
A Barbecue smell
Smiley passers-by
In what engulfing happiness
Am I!
Deleting all redundant memories
Am I!
And how the Nile goes by
Opening its nocturnal maze
Crowded with anchored restaurants,
Cafés. Pass them and me by
So I remember lovely colors,
Enticing sea smells,
More than happy memories
And Sakina pulling my trembling hand
To cross Sallah Salem Street,
A Highway?
No way, Sakina!
No way!
Now! Or a flattened death!
Cross NOW!
Shouts loudly over the noise.
I run, my eyes closed,
As well as my senses
To Cairo International Book Fair.
So she is in Roxi!
To my memories of colorful fish
Sharm al-sheikh shores
Coral- decorated undersea
A small yacht
Sailing on Tiran's horizon
Passing a private light house
Where I once climbed breathlessly
We wave
I see what others can't see
I adjust my hat's angle
Straining my eyes
Giving myself to the Red Sea breeze
To turquoise waters
To Ahmed's camera seizing the moment
So she is in Roxi
And Afaf's butterflies
Crowding around my thoughts' light
My thoughts that are traveling away
Traveling away.

For the next poem in this sequence, click here.

Read more from the July 2006 issue
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