In Dahab, At Dusk
A skirmish of sand, sea and mountain
unravels in the opalescent haze of dusk.
The sky’s spine arches,
an inconceivable vastness,
everything below it bathed in
lavender and hibiscus.
The air thick with a heat
that throbs and fades:
an ancient, eternal pulse.
The call to prayer pounces
on the chests of all within earshot,
and then curls up there.
Gangs of foolhardy goats and children
pick their way through broken beer bottles,
fill passing pickup trucks with
tangled limbs and laughter,
more commandeer than stowaway.
This world is theirs;
the labyrinthine rubble,
the grumbling of camels,
the stealth of each night that
creeps in as silent and sudden as sleep.
The sea sighs to itself but
no scar shows where Moses
parted its flesh all those years ago.
In the heady smoke of mint and sage,
the evening unfurls and flares.