Arabian winter,

a star called Tantoura,

Aramaic graffiti undulates with

ancient testaments: I was

here. Now I’m gone. Strange

how this soft wind becomes sharp,

shears sandstone, blasts mountains

into fragments. Camel’s teeth, birds’

wings; iron pegs turning, secure.

Supple earth, gentle fronds of palms

swell and thrive. How many cities

lie beneath us, here? Have these

stones birthed other worlds?

I am small, like rumal to hassaa;

hassaa to sakharat ; sakharat to

jabal. I measure myself with what

I can fit into my palm, and how much.

Our small khayma, brass kettle,

new canvas, old campfire:

I can still taste the rain in Al `Ula.

Copyright 2020 Under the Veil

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