Arabian Nights

by Julian Daley

after Richard Siken

Tell me about the desert,
sands rising, sinking shins
and knee caps. How silly
were we to dream of rain?

Heat escapes us, consumes us.
Pushing back like protest. We
cannot fight the wind, ripping
up grains. A suffocating breeze,
tricking us with the sound
of swiftness. Bellowing more
of the same, yesterday becomes
today and then tomorrow. Dry
mouths become a church. The
desert is still hot, mirroring our
sweat, echoing silence. How silly

were we to dream of dancing?
We do not know change,
stir like the Sun. We set
fires within the sands.

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