i like the valley of your palms with the seeds of red powder

i like the valley of your palms with the seeds of red powder and a hint of pepper, veiled ladies sell for ten shillings

behind the place with two lions, chains on the gate, like sculptures could ever bite.

shoes outside the big mosque, beads on sale, down to the last call of the muezzin

i like it when the sun is hiding and bodies move in closer, a narrow street is not enough

a new Turkish restaurant, new in the sense that it’s linoleum is ever clean

the smiles on attendants ever full, a terrace where it must be cool to smoke.

color plans on big advertisement have replaced the gray of buildings,

ghosts must play behind sealed-off parking lots where a building burnt down

we still breath in the ashes and remember the dead, demolish what is left.

a short lane of potted plants, a bar where smoke-sweat from last night can reach you

outdoor seats around high barrels where time sneaks on lovers

on the painted glass you can see trapped images of dancers from last night

lost in embraces and near long kisses, in Billy Kahora’s urban zoning where there is no morning

a faint shower from a leaking pipe, twenty floors up, cold morning.

biggest avenue of red ants streaming in, trailing registration numbers.

the statue of a leader , the offices of a leader, the street named after a leader

beware of con-artists posing as insurance sales agents, as leaders.

bodies, more bodies, traffic lights, more narrow street which beautiful women must avoid

penumbras where smoking zones should be, ersatz gazebo, meditation lane

a steeple if you are lucky, a basilica where at 2 a.m. you can buy

a rosary and have her tie it around your neck, cold fingers, next to a casino.

another old stature which we have come to forget

a clean street, a grave, a clock, a fountain, black-white pavements

dirty street, the government press, a building where she works, a clock

where once you stood watching her, in a short skirt and black stockings

she found Jesus, she has no time for talking. Her blue eyes are the blue of banking

halls. A cemetery on the outskirts, white tombstones and weeds, a low perimeter wall.

Movie posters advertise pulp fiction, you can get film noir if you order early

and inside, rich men we have come to suspect, sip coffee from small cups, their white kanzus

the white of mosque tiles, where the call of the muezzin announces prayer time.




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